Julie Erickson's Reviews > The Whipping Boy

The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman
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Aug 08, 14


The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman is a Newbery Medal award winning book. According to the medal's website, the award is given, "To encourage original creative work in the field of books for children. To emphasize to the public that contributions to the literature for children deserve similar recognition to poetry, plays, or novels." (http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/... aboutnewbery/aboutnewbery. June 8th, 2012). The Newbery Medal became the first children's book award in 1922.

I’ve been reading The Whipping Boy with my fourth grade class for four years. When students first get a hold of the book, they think that it’s going to be short and, therefore, an easy read. However, the book has a complicated storyline and difficult figurative language, making it a GREAT book with many teachable opportunities!

This novel is full of metaphors (Billy said with a thunderclap of laughter. pg. 12), similes (Tell him we’re shameful mean, and rough as a sackful of nails. pg. 22), hyperbole (Stale enough to patch a roof, but I’ve scoffed down worse. pg. 27), and idioms (Don’t think you can pull the wool over our eyes! pg. 20). It provides a wonderful opportunity to discuss how figurative language enhances an author’s writing.

Also, The Whipping Boy delivers the opportunity to review story mapping, setting, and how character’s change throughout a novel.

Although on the shorter side (only 82 pages!), The Whipping Boy is packed with teachable moments and is entertaining not only for my students, but for myself as well! It was a great contribution to the literary world and is well deserving of the Newbery Medal.
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