The Whipping Boy

The Whipping Boy

3.7 44
by Sid Fleischman, Peter Sis
     
 

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Since it is forbidden to spank the heir to the throne, Jemmy has been taken from the streets to serve as whipping boy to the arrogant and spiteful Prince Brat.

Jemmy is smart, and learns to read and write while living in the castle with Prince Brat, but he is also resentful and thinks about escape. Both he and Prince Brat leave the castle, but in a fateful

Overview


Since it is forbidden to spank the heir to the throne, Jemmy has been taken from the streets to serve as whipping boy to the arrogant and spiteful Prince Brat.

Jemmy is smart, and learns to read and write while living in the castle with Prince Brat, but he is also resentful and thinks about escape. Both he and Prince Brat leave the castle, but in a fateful encounter they are kidnapped and their identities are mistaken. Jemmy is treated like the Prince and Prince Brat like the servant. In the end Prince Brat learns from his experience, and Jemmy’s lot in life is forever changed as well.

    

Sid Fleischman was awarded the 1987 Newbery Medal for the most outstanding
contribution to American literature for children for The Whipping Boy

This Newbery Library collector’s volume of the Award winning novel, The Whipping Boy, will make a fine addition to any growing library.

The Newbery Medal was named for eighteenth century British bookseller John Newbery. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
With his flair for persuading readers to believe in the ridiculous, Fleischman scores a hit with his new creation. Sis's skillful pictures emphasize events in the adventures of the orphan Jemmy, kept in his king's palace to be thrashed for the offenses committed by the royal heir, known as Prince Brat. It is forbidden to punish Brat, whose tricks multiply until Jemmy is tempted to escape the daily round of flogging. But the prince himself takes off and forces the whipping boy to go with him. As they get into and out of trouble on the outside, Jemmy hears that he has been accused of abducting Brat. When the prince arranges for their return to the palace, poor Jemmy fears the worst, but things turn out for the best at the story's satisfying close. Colorful types like a thief called Hold-Your-Nose Billy, Betsy and her dancing bear Petunia, et al., increase the fun. (7-11)
Children's Literature
Bored Prince Brat has plenty of attitude and very little compassion when he rousts Jemmy, his whipping boy, out of bed to run away with him. Lest he gets his hide "flogged pink as a salmon" by Hold-Your-Nose-Billy and Cutwater, Jemmy agrees to the Prince's plan to trade places, escape their kidnappers, and return to the kingdom. The dialogue exchanged between a nasty pair of villains, an underdog, and a conniving brat carries the tale of two boys who must learn to rely on one another if they are ever to return to their own lives. Young readers thrive on just such talk and just such adventure. Introducing details of royal life, peasants, and paupers, the author immerses the reader in medieval life. The raucous language draws children into the well-told tale. Fleischman and Sis manage to do what few partners can—simultaneously teach and entertain. Chapter titles such as, "Chapter 19-Being a full account of the happenings in the dark sewers," are part of the romp for captivated readers. Children who enjoy this novel might also choose Karen Cushman's Midwife's Apprentice or Catherine, Called Birdy, Brian Jacques' Redwall series, or Gail Levine's Ella Enchanted. Readers who like the author's voice might also try Edward Eager's Half-Magic series. 2003 (org. 1986), Greenwillow Books,
— Robin Overby Cox <%ISBN%>0688062164
School Library Journal
Gr 5-7 Roles are changed when young Prince Brat, as everyone calls him (he is so altogether rotten that ``Not even black cats would cross his path''), runs away with Jemmy, his whipping boy (the commoner who takes the Prince's punishments). Because Brat has never learned to write and Jemmy can, a couple of prince-nappers decide that Jemmy is the real prince. Chiefly through Jemmy's cleverness, the two escape and return to court. Brat has learned much and changed for the better during his adventures. He winds up calling Jemmy ``friend,'' and he is certain to be a better prince hereafter. This whimsical, readable story delights in the manner of Bill Brittain's books The Wish Giver (1983) and The Devil's Donkey (1981, both Harper). Full-page black-and-white illustrationssomewhat grotesque but always complementaryadd attractiveness to the story. The mistaken identity plot is always a good one: children, even fairly old ones, like disguises and this kind of mix-up. Supplementary characters are well-drawn both by Fleischman and by Sis, so the whole hangs together in basic appeal. Readers could well move from The Whipping Boy to its much longer cousin, Mark Twain's The Prince and the Pauper. George Gleason, Department of English, Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780812461350
Publisher:
Harpercollins Childrens Books
Publication date:
04/28/2003
Pages:
96
Sales rank:
235,757
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

In which we observe a hair-raising event

The young prince was known here and there (and just about everywhere else) as Prince Brat. Not even black cats would cross his path.

One night the king was holding a grand feast. Sneaking around behind the lords and ladies, Prince Brat tied their powdered wigs to the backs of their oak chairs.

Then he hid behind a footman to wait.

When the guests stood up to toast the king, their wigs came flying off.

The lords clasped their bare heads as if they'd been scalped. The ladies shrieked.

Prince Brat (he was never called that to his face, of course) tried to keep from laughing. He clapped both hands over his mouth. But out it ripped, a cackle of hah-hahs and haw-haws and hee-hee-hees.

The king spied him and he looked mad enough to spit ink. He gave a furious shout.

"Fetch the whipping boy!"

Prince Brat knew that he had nothing to fear. He had never been spanked in hi is life. He was a prince! And it was forbidden to spank, thrash, cuff, smack, or whip a prince.

A common boy was kept in the castle to be punished in his place.

"Fetch the whipping boy!"

The king's command traveled like an echo from guard to guard up the stone stairway to a small chamber in the drafty north tower.

An orphan boy named Jemmy, the son of a ratcatcher, roused from his sleep. He'd been dreaming happily of his ragged but carefree life before he'd been Plucked from the streets and sewers of the City to serve as royal whipping boy.

A guard shook him fully awake. "On your feet, me boy."

Jemmy's eyes blazed up. "Ain't I alreadybeen whipped twice today? Gaw! What's the prince done now?

"Let's not keep the great folks waitin', lad."

In the main hall, the king said, "Twenty whacks!"

Defiantly biting back every yelp and cry, the whipping boy received the twenty whacks. Then the king turned to the prince. "And let that be a lesson to you!"

"Yes, Papa." The prince lowered his head so as to appear humbled and contrite. But all the while he was feeling a growing exasperation with his whipping boy.

In the tower chamber, the prince fixed him with a scowl. "You're the worst whipping boy I ever had! How come you never bawl?"

"Dunno," said Jemmy with a shrug.

"A whipping boy is supposed to yowl like a stuck pig! We dress you up fancy and feed you royal, don't we? It's no fun if you don't bawl! "

Jemmy shrugged again. He was determined never to spring a tear for the prince to gloat over.

"Yelp and bellow next time. Hear? Or I'll tell Papa to give you back your rags and kick you back into the streets."

Jemmy's spirits soared. Much obliged, Your Royal Awfulness! he thought. I'll take me rags, and I'll be gone in the half-blink of an eye.

The Whipping Boy. Copyright © by Sid Fleischman. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Sid Fleischman wrote more than sixty books for children, adults, and magicians. Among his many awards was the Newbery Medal for his novel The Whipping Boy. The author described his wasted youth as a magician and newspaperman in his autobiography The Abracadabra Kid. His other titles include The Entertainer and the Dybbuk, a novel, and three biographies, Sir Charlie: Chaplin, The Funniest Man in the World; The Trouble Begins at 8: A Life of Mark Twain in the Wild, Wild West; and Escape! The Story of The Great Houdini.

Peter Sís is an internationally acclaimed author, artist, and filmmaker. Among his works are three Caldecott Honor books: The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain; Tibet: Through the Red Box; and Starry Messenger: Galileo Galilei. He has illustrated five other novels by Sid Fleischman, including the Newbery Medal book The Whipping Boy. He lives with his family in New York State.

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The Whipping Boy 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 43 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My fifth grade class enjoyed this book as a read aloud.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is about a whipping boy and a prince escaping the castle. But after they escaped they had to escape again because as they were riding away, two guys named Hold-Your-Nose Billy and Cut-Water takes them and then they escaped from them. While they were running away they met a little girl looking for her bear. After that they went to a fair, but in the end they went back to the castle. Out of 5 stars i give this book 2 stars because it is really hard to picture it in your head. But there is a couple good parts but its really not a good book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
t was about 2 little boys won little boy was the prince and lived in royalty and the other little boy was the whipping boy and he would get spanked if the prince was bad the prince felt bad about making him get spanked so he became friends with the little boy and they ran from the castle but they returned home latter in the book it was bad i really did not get the book and it did not tell you what things looked like so i could not get a good visual or a good movie in the mind and it was not very surprising and it jumped from place to place so i did not really no what i was reading about.
Cougar_H More than 1 year ago
The book ¿The Whipping Boy¿ was a book that I feel was a fun story to read. This book was about a prince that everyone thought of as prince brat. The king, prince brat¿s father, had gone out to the street to find a homeless child to give a home. But its not what you think, the living opportunity came with a twist, the twist is that the kid has to get whipped every time the prince gets in trouble or does something bad. The prince decides that he wants to run away and he brings Jemmy, the whipping, boy with him. The boys run into a couple of cutthroats that kidnap them and write a ransom note to the king. Jemmy figures out a way to escape the two cutthroats and they run away until eventually they get caught again. Eventually the king figures out where they have been held hostage. When they arrive at the castle the prince decides to give Jemmy a break and take the whipping from his father instead of watching his friend get whipped. So in conclusion I felt that the story was entertaining for a short week long book to read, I would consider giving the book a chance and reading it.
vols2011 More than 1 year ago
How would you like to live in a time where you get whipped for things you did not even do? Well that's exactly what happens in The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman, this is a non fiction book. In this story there are two boys one named prince brat and the other Jemmy, he is a whipping boy from the sewers. A whipping boy is a kid that will get whipped instead of the prince because it's against the law to whip the prince. I liked this story because it's funny like this one time the bandits where whipping the prince and this girl Betsy and her dancing bear Petunia. Then she let the bear go and Petunia went and threw one of the bandits in a river and the other one ran of with his eyes the size of bowling balls. I would recommend this book to every one. I would recommend it for kids because its funny, but I would also recommend it to adults because it has some adult characters.
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srbSH More than 1 year ago
My classroom library contained most of Sid Fleischman's books, which were universally enjoyed by each of my classes over many years. His stories were full of the kind of adventure tales and humor that appealed to elementary-age students - and to their teacher as well. When I retired I left my entire library as a gift to future readers. In memory of Sid Fleischman's recent passing I purchased The Whipping Boy (*) and reread, with pleasure, this story of a spoiled prince whose whipping boy, Jemmy, takes all the corporal punishment in the prince's stead. On the upside, curious, resourceful Jemmy gets to learn all the lessons in reading, writing and mathematics that the prince refuses to do. So when the prince runs away out of boredom, taking Jemmy with him, it's clear who will save the day. Their misadventures include a run-in with a bear and being kidnapped by outlaws whom Billy persuades to ransom the prince. Not only is Billy the only one who can write (and read), but who is going to sign the note? The prince can't even sign his own name so no one would know whether the signature is real. The Whipping Boy tells a story about transformation and friendship. The prince never learned anything because he didn't think there was a need to. And he had never given a thought to Jemmy's terrible situation or to his own outrageous behavior. He's shocked to find out that the entire kingdom calls him Prince Brat. Certainly his helplessness to do anything for himself, or for anyone else for that matter gets him to want to do an entire makeover. Peter Sis's lively black-and-white illustrations complement the writing. (*) Sadly, there was only one other Fleischman book on the shelf that was available to buy.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
The Whipping Boy is about a boy who lived on the street. He was named Jemmy. He became the whipping boy. Whenever Prince Brat got into trouble, Jemmy would have to take the punishment. Prince Brat and Jemmy ran away. While they were away from the castle they had lots of adventures and became friends. The Whipping Boy is ok. I give it 3 stars it has lots of action. The bad part is that it gets confusing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm a 6th grade student and this is a inspring tale of a prince and his whipping boy. Who learn to get along and the prince changes his selfish ways. I like polar bears and pandas cheese
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fleischmann Sid, The whipping Boy, Greenwillow books, new York 1986, level 3.9 Sid Fleischmann was born in Brooklyn, New York, but grew up in California, and that is where he still lives. Sid never planned on being a writer. As a boy, he thought that all writers were dead, and he certainly did not wan to be that. so he decided to be a magician. He was a good one, too, but eventually, he got a job at a newspaper, and he discovered that he loved to tell stories. For nearly fifty years, he has been writing books and screen plays for television. in 1987, Sid won the Newbery Award for The Whipping Boy. (In 1989, his son Paul Fleischmann won the Newbery Award for Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices.) The plot involves the orphan Jemmy, who must take the whippings for the royal heir, Prince Brat. Jemmy plans to flee this arrangement until Prince Brat beats him to it, and takes Jemmy along. Jemmy then hears he's charged with the Prince's abduction When the prince arranges for their return to the palace, poor Jemmy fears the worst, but things turn out for the best . I thought this book was ok. It is a sad idea that he must suffer from the wrongs of the king¿s son. However I think it is book children would enjoy. They will enjoy reading all of the issues the two boys face and how they become friends. I doubt it is something many children will relate to unless they are in a situation similar to jimmy and are being mistreated. I think children in this age group would enjoy it and be intrigued by the mystery of what will happen in then end. ¿Ain¿t I already been Whipped twice today? GAW! What has the prince done now¿ ¿ But I¿m His royal Highness!¿ Hey kids what will happen to the two boys when they return. What will they learn from running away.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fleischman, Sid. The Whipping Boy. New York: Harper Collins Publishers 1986. Illustrated by Peter Sis. Prince Brat was an obstinate young man. He never did anything for himself. He even had someone, Jemmy, to take his whippings for him because a Prince could never be whipped. He would cause trouble which would ensure The Whipping Boy would get beat. ¿Ten whacks at least, good and hard, if you please¿ said the brat Prince. ¿Jemmy didn¿t bawl. He didn¿t yelp or bellow.¿ The story follows the pair through a misadventure where they get kidnapped. The boys had to be very clever to outsmart Hold-Your-Nose Billy and Cutwater by pretending to be the other person. After escaping, they return to the King and the Brat Prince convinces the King to let the Whipping Boy go. They are forever friends from that point on. This is a humorous book for grades 4th and on. Sid Fleischman was born in Brooklyn, New York. He grew up in San Diego during the Great Depression and decided to become a magician. After graduating high school, he traveled widely in vaudeville and with a midnight ghost-and-goblin show. He says, 'I was on the way to becoming a writer. I just didn't know it.' After he finished college, he worked as a reporter on the San Diego Daily Journal. He credits his children for becoming a children¿s book author. He has written more than 60 children¿s books. He earned the Newbery Medal Award for The Whipping Boy, in 1987. His son, Paul Fleischman, is a Newbery Medal winning writer and poet, author of Joyful Noise they are the only father and son to receive Newbery awards. Peter Sis is from Czechoslovakia: an illustrator for more than thirty years. His drawings are mostly pen and ink, oil pastels, or watercolors.
Guest More than 1 year ago
How would you like to be the one who got a whipping every time someone else got into trouble? In the 1987 Newbery Award children¿s book The Whipping Boy a shout comes echoing up the stairway, ¿Fetch the whipping boy!¿ A young boy named Jemmy rouses from his sleep. ¿Ain¿t I already been whipped twice today? Gaw! What¿s the prince done now?¿ It was forbidden to spank, thrash, or whack the heir to the throne and Jemmy has been plucked from the streets to serve as whipping boy to the arrogant and spiteful Prince Brat (That¿s what everyone calls him). Dreaming of running away, Jemmy finds himself trapped in Prince Brat¿s own dream of running away, and so Jemmy has no chose but to do what Prince Brat¿s tells him too. When they are kidnapped by two outlaws, Jemmy makes them think that because he can read and write, he is the Prince so the real prince and go back to the castle. But the real prince is having none of that and will not return to the castle acting as the new whipping boy. When things turn bad and the prince finds himself being the one receiving the whipping he¿¿. To find out what happens when the prince is the one getting the whipping and not Jemmy. This wonderful boy set back in the 18th century was written by Sid Fleischman. Sid Fleischman was born in Brooklyn, New York, but grew up in California, and that is where he still lives. Sid never planned on being a writer. As a boy, he thought that all writers were dead, and he certainly did not want to be that. So he decided to be a magician. He was a good one, too, but eventually, he got a job at a newspaper, and he discovered that he loved to tell stories. For nearly fifty years, he has been writing books and screen plays for television. Other books you might enjoy by this author: Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices and The Abracadabra Kid. Fleischman Sid, ¿The Whipping Boy¿, William Morrow & Company: New York, New York, 1986
Guest More than 1 year ago
The title of this book alone leaves you wondering what is a whipping boy. The author of this wonderful children¿s novel began writing novels when his children started asking questions about what he did for a living, to show them, he wrote them a book. I, along with many more am grateful for this. As I mentioned earlier this book hooked me from the time I read the title. This book is for any child that has ever wished they could behave however they wished and someone else receive the punishment. This Newbery Award winning adventure book is about a spoiled prince, Prince Brat, who forces his whipping boy, Jemmy, to runaway from the castle with him with the main theme of this book being about the friendship forged between these two and their survival on the streets. In the beginning they are enemies. You at first will hate the Prince because of comments made after Jemmy¿s whippings on his behalf such as, ¿A whipping boy is supposed to yowl like a stuffed pig! ¿It¿s not fun if you don¿t bawl!¿ (p.4) However, through their adventures with cutthroats, dancing bears, and sewers you see the transformation between the two. This is a great book that I would recommend to any young adventure seeker.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Whipping Boy is a story of adventure when young prince brat decides to run away because he is bored. He brings Jemmy his whipping boy. Jemmy is from the streets and is made to take the punishment when the prince is bad. The two boys are the total opposite of one another and they don't like each other. They switch identities which makes their adventures interesting, and through their perils they become friends. I enjoyed reading The Whipping Boy.