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The Whipping Boy Paperback – April 15, 2003

176 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

For kids to get their dose of action and thrills, they need not always go to the local multiplex for the latest bang 'em up film. They could try such books as The Whipping Boy, which relies not on exploding spaceships and demonic robots but mythic story, humorous characters and, ready or not, a moral. 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 as this Newbery Medal winning book turns toward a surprising close. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers 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.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 8
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books; Reprint edition (April 15, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060521228
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060521226
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.2 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (176 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,853 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
You'd think being plucked from the street to live in the palace would be a dream come true for an orphan. But Jemmy would disagree. He's be given the job of official whipping boy and is punished every time the prince does something wrong. And there's a reason the prince is called "Prince Brat" behind his back.
Jemmy dreams of running away, but is surprised when the prince announces one night that both of them are running away. Before they know it, the outlaw Hold-Your-Nose Billy has kidnapped them. Can Jemmy keep them both alive and get them back to the castle? Or will the oblivious Prince Brat spoil his every plan?
I'd been intrigued by this book for some time, and finally had a chance to read it. The story is quite fun. While I saw the ultimate end coming, there were plenty of fun twists along the way that kept me engaged. And I truly came to care for the characters; I'd love to know what happens to them next.
Kids will love this tale of adventure set in a time long gone, and adults will enjoy sharing it with them. Get this book today for some good family reading time.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Orrin C. Judd VINE VOICE on November 18, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This Newberry Award winning kids book is great good fun in the tradition of The Prince and the Pauper and The Princess Bride. It's the amusing tale of a spoiled heir to the throne, so obnoxious that he's known as Prince Brat, and of Jeremy, the peasant rat-catcher's son, who is drafted into the King's service to stand in for the Prince when he earns a whipping. Of course, having a whipping boy who gets punished in your stead leaves you little incentive to improve your behavior. The Prince is so incorrigible that he hasn't even learned to read and write, though Jeremy has just by overhearing the lessons. When one day the Prince decides to run away, Jeremy follows, figuring he has nothing to lose, since he'll be beaten for it anyway. But things take an unexpectedly nasty turn when the boys are captured by two cutthroats: Cutwater and Hold-Your-Nose Billy. The quick thinking Jeremy is able to convince the bandits that he's the Prince, since after all, he's the one who's literate, and tries to get them to release his compatriot; but the obnoxious Prince is so offended that he refuses to take this means of escape. Gradually, as their misadventures continue, the boys learn to respect and even like one another and all, of course, ends happily.
One thing that occurred to me in reading this story is the way that Anglo-American literature turns the traditional fairy tale of mistaken identity on it's head. The emblematic story of European tradition would be the Frog Prince, wherein the royal personage lies buried beneath a facade, but inevitably is discovered and accedes to his birthright.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 25, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book took place in time when there were kings and queens. Prince Horace, known to the peasants of the city as "Prince Brat",was a stubborn little boy who always wanted attention. It was usually bad attention, but he did not realized it until the ending of the story. His whipping boy, Jemmy, really hated Prince Brat. One night, Prince Brat made Jemmy run away from home with him, but they soon got caught by two cutthroats. This book tells how the two boys escape from the cutthroats and turn into best of friends, unlike that in the beginning of the story. The boys teach each other different things from both of their unique lifestyles. This book is written by Sid Fleischman, and I would recommend it to anyone in the 3rd to 5th grades, because it is a very easy book to read and understand.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
I recommend The Whipping Boy. This book was written by Sid Fleischman and received the 1987 John Newberry Medal award.The story is about an orphan,Jemmy who is taken to a palace to be a "Whipping Boy". A whipping boy is a child who gets whipped in place of the prince in the palace. The prince happens to be a spoiled rotten brat and is known throughout the country as "Prince Brat". Needless to say, the poor whipping boy gets whipped a lot. In the book the two very different boys end up running away for different reasons.They are faced with several difficult situations and through their experiences and adventures, their lives are changed evermore.You should read this book because it is very entertaining.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on October 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
This story is about a prince who is bored out of his mind and thinks he should run away from home. This is book is good for people who like funny and short books in grades 4 and up.
Some of the main characters are Hold Your Nose Billy, Jemmy, Prince Brat, Petunia, and Cutwater. Hold Your Nose Billy and Capiton Nips are really mean people who like garlic. They kidnapp Prince Brat and Jemmy. Prince Brat is a boy who you think has a perfect life but he does not think so. He thinks he has a boring life. Petunia is a bear who saves Jemmy and Prince Brats lives.
The main part of the story begins when Prince Brat and Jemmy run away from home and get kidnapped. It is set in a forest and in a palace in an imaginary time long ago.
I think the theme is never run away. Just stay home with your family. Sometimes you don't realize how good you have it. Also, learning to read is very important.
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