Kaitlin's Reviews > The Whipping Boy

The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman
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Nov 04, 2013

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bookshelves: children-s-chapter-books
Read in May, 2012

"The Whipping Boy" was indeed a children's book. After reading "The Hunger Games," this book seemed incredibly simple, granted it should be that way. It seemed like hardly right after a problem had arisen, it had already been solved. For example, the boys were out walking and needed to get into the city, away from the bad guys and into a place where Jemmy knew where to hide. Conveniently, a hot potato man comes rolling around the bend. After being caught by the bad guys and Prince Brat is being whipped, the girl with the dancing bear just happens to appear and come to the boys' rescue. Once they escape, and are in need of transportation again, they run into the hot potato man broken down on a hill not far off.
Although it was a little predictable and unrealistic, it is a children's book and I'm sure I would have been a little more engaged by it as a child. I think the story taught a good lesson in friendship and sticking up for those who you don't particularly like or owe anything to. When Jemmy had the chance to ride off with the hot potato man, he doesn't take the opportunity but instead realizes that Prince Brat is in need and allowing him to come along is the right thing to do. I think the novel also teaches a good moral lesson about how wealth isn't everything and that it pays to pay attention in school/your lessons. Jemmy mentions several times how downtrodden Prince Brat looks, or how he finally saw a glimmer of a smile, or heard him laugh for the first time. Even Prince Brat mentions that running away is the most fun he's ever had, though he has all the riches he could ever want. Lastly, Jemmy listening to Prince Brat's lessons well enough to know how to read and write saved them and allowed them to trick the bad guys. Doing what is right, being a good friend, knowing that money is not everything and to pay attention in school are all good lessons for young children to learn.
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