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The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman

The Whipping Boy

post written by Emma Filbrun
The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman

Title: The Whipping Boy
Author: Sid Fleischman
Major Themes: Humor, Easy Readers, Middle Ages, Books for Boys
Synopsis: Jemmy is very tired of being the prince’s whipping boy, and wants to go back to his life as a ratcatcher—but when the prince runs away and takes Jemmy along, they both have to use their wits to survive!

We have enjoyed the books we’ve read by Sid Fleischman. He has a way of telling tall tales that children love. My four-year-old picked out The Whipping Boy recently and asked me to read it to her, so I did, a chapter a day. She enjoyed it—and so did everyone else, from the 21-year-old on down! 

Jemmy had finally gotten to bed and to sleep when he was awakened for yet another whipping. Prince Brat had done something else—this was the third time today! He just wanted to go back to his former life of catching rats in the sewers under the city and be done with nice clothes, good food—and a whipping every time the prince misbehaved. Was there any way he could?

One night, Prince Brat, carrying a heavy basket, woke Jemmy up and ordered him to come along; they were running away from the palace. Jemmy had no choice but to obey—but he schemed that he would slip away from the prince as soon as possible. Then, unexpectedly, the two found themselves the hostages of Hold-Your-Nose Billy and Cutwater. What would these two desperate outlaws do to the boys? Was there any way they could outwit the men? And then, they meet up with some more rather eccentric characters. The Whipping Boy turns into quite the comedy!

With its short chapters and fairly easy vocabulary, this exciting story really appeals to young readers. As a read-aloud, it appeals to even younger (and older!) children. Don’t miss this fun book.

No warnings!

Age levels:

Read Aloud—Ages 3 – 4, 5 – 8
Reading Independently—Ages 7 – 9, 8 – 12

Links to buy this book:

Amazon: Paperback | Hardcover | Audio CD (unabridged)
AbeBooks: View Choices on
Book Depository: Paperback | Hardcover

Keywords: Humor, Easy Readers, Middle Ages, Books for Boys

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