Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Whipping Boy” as Want to Read:
The Whipping Boy
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Whipping Boy

by
3.54  ·  Rating details ·  19,583 Ratings  ·  1,144 Reviews

A shout comes echoing up the stairway "Fetch the whipping boy!"

A young orphan 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. Jemmy had been plucked from the streets to serve as whipping boy to the arrogant and spiteful Prince Brat.

Dreaming o

...more
Paperback, 96 pages
Published April 15th 2003 by Greenwillow Books (first published January 1st 1986)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Whipping Boy, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Ella N. SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS Jemmy told the king that in the letter for ransom, pretending to be the prince…moreSPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS Jemmy told the king that in the letter for ransom, pretending to be the prince to fool the outlaws, but he knew it would not trick anyone in the palace.
Short- Jemmy said that in a letter about the cutthroats.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Jonathan Peto
Jun 14, 2015 rated it liked it
The story is comically told, practically slapstick, so the characters are not deeply drawn. The themes, however, are serious, so it is fun and offers opportunities for extended conversations. I read it with a small group of pre-third and pre-fourth graders who were ESL students. They were able to access the plot and laugh at the situations. The point of view character is Jemmy, a whipping boy. When the prince does something wrong, Jemmy is the one who gets whipped. The prince, who is nicknamed P ...more
Jessica
Apr 17, 2008 rated it it was ok
As a piece of young adult fiction, The Whipping boy earned a Newberry Award. I'm not sure why. Yes, there are vivid descriptions and some good literary devices used, but the storyline is hardly original and the character development is trite. If you want a fun and easy read about friendship and overcoming prejudice, then perhaps you may enjoy it. But to me, The Whipping Boy does not stand out as a choice children's novel.
Amanda NEVER MANDY
Nov 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, prologue
Memory lane is a fun place to visit but it is never where one should stay. On occasion I like to revisit past reads to see how much of them I remember and if what I loved about them then still holds up today. This was one of my odd loves and I was a bit confused by it because it wasn’t based on animals, my predominate focus around that particular point in my life. But after stewing over it for a couple of days, I think I finally see the connection. See I’m thinking this read occurred around the ...more
Jess
Oct 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
Chapter book - historical fiction
Newbery Medal
For grades 3-7

Jemmy is Prince Brat's whipping boy, taking any punishment due to the prince, until the prince decides to run away, taking Jemmy with him and leading them into a series of adventures with notorious outlaws.

This tale is told with plenty of humor and adventure, in an entertaining style that suits the content. Prince Brat and Jemmy begin the story as contrasting characters, but develop a believable affinity as they run from castle, outlaws
...more
Shannon McDermott
Here’s a question: Which would you rather be – a rat-catcher or a whipping boy? On the one hand, rat-catchers catch rats. On the other, whipping boys get whipped. A lot.

At least they do when the prince is known throughout the kingdom as Prince Brat. And Jemmy, an orphan plucked from the streets to be His Highness’s whipping boy, knows which he prefers. If he had a choice, he’d exchange his silk and velvet for rags and be back in the sewers in a half-blink of an eye.

But he doesn’t have a choice.
...more
Dan
Jan 02, 2009 rated it liked it
Synopsis:

Jemmy is the prince's whipping boy, a job that means he gets punished any time the prince misbehaves. Tired of the injustice, he decides to run away. Before he can, the prince decides to run away instead, dragging Jemmy along for the ride. Soon, they are kidnapped by two highwaymen who mistake Jemmy for the prince. Now, with their roles reversed, it's Jemmy that controls whether or not the prince will get whipped. Will he help the young prince to return home? Or use the opportunity to g
...more
Becca
Jun 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I somehow missed out on a whole lot of great children's literature when I was a child. Maybe Babysitter's Club was just all I needed, lol. As a result of this lit-ignorance, I am just now reading a bunch of we-read-this-in-school kinds of classics. The Whipping Boy is among these.

I picked this from the library with the intent of reading it for my own information. But somehow I am reading it aloud to my kids. They (especially J) are really loving it. I love that J is old enough to pick up on comp
...more
Colin
Feb 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really like the plot I really like the plot I really like the plot I really like the plot I really like the plot I really like the plot I really like the plot I really like the plot
Jon M
Apr 07, 2014 rated it did not like it
This is a terrible book that I was forced to read in fifth grade. I was put into a group of other kids who were also made to read this miserable piece of fiction against our will, and it was so bad, that I was able to persuade my teacher to put me in another group. I thought it'd be better, but everyone else in that group were way ahead of me and understood a lot of it. It was called "The Westing Game" and it was by some guy who doesn't know how to write, and it would take me forever to catch up ...more
Gail
Mar 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a great read aloud. A young prince seems to be terribly spoiled, even to the point of being called Prince Brat. He decides to run off with his whipping boy and they have some great adventures- The prince makes some good changes to his behavior and he develops a good friendship with Jemmy too. Lots of new vocab in this book. It is good to show the changes in a character over time.
Laura Harrison
May 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Great choice for reluctant readers. Quite a slight book. I know it is a hit with children who want a short read when choosing a book from their summer reading list. Good writing and a few action packed pages but not my favorite Newbery.
Sarah
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There was this movie we watched sometimes at my house -- Prince Brat and the Whipping Boy -- and I liked it a lot. I didn't even know it was a book until I saw it recently on a friend's shelf, so of course I had to borrow it!

I didn't expect the book to match the movie exactly, because most book-to-movie conversions don't; and indeed it did not match exactly, but it was still full of the phrases and lessons that I'd enjoyed in the film. Some of the characters were a little different, and there we
...more
Kaitlin
May 17, 2012 rated it liked it
"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 ...more
Duffy Pratt
May 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
A slim book with a slim story. There's a Prince and his whipping boy. The whipping boy takes the punishment when the prince does bad, which he does with regularity. Bored, the prince runs away and drags the whipping boy along as his "manservant." They encounter cutthroat highwaymen, dancing bears, a potato vendor, rat-catchers, and other things out of the realm of the prince's experience. In the process, the two bond.

The story is lively enough. The language simple, sometimes engaging, but often
...more
Amber
Jan 18, 2014 rated it liked it
I thought this book was a great way to teach a lesson through adventure. Throughout the book you can really see the main characters developing in many different ways such as: their opinions towards each other, what's important to them and their true personalities. This book is a great way to show children that before you judge someone sometimes you have to take a walk in their shoes because you don't know what they're going through. I really enjoyed the illustrations in the book because at times ...more
Katie
Oct 13, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: kidsbooks
I'm currently reading this as a read aloud with my students. Talk about language that is not used a lot today.

This is a good story, and we've had some awesome little discussions already in class.
Nicole
May 11, 2015 rated it did not like it
This book was HORRIBLE! Seriously, what kind of nickname is Prince Brat? A bad one! Whoever hasn't read this book, lucky you. Whoever has, :( I'm sorry you did.
Juli Anna
Aug 14, 2017 rated it liked it
I remember listening to this book on tape as a kid and laughing uproariously. As a grownup, I would say that this book is still quality kids' adventure-humor, though perhaps not deep enough to warrant a Newbery for my taste. I don't know if there has ever been a more unlikable character than Prince Brat, although he really does grow admirably, if not realistically. Jemmy also grows, and in a more believable way. Overall, a fun romp, if not the highest-quality Newbery awarded.
Lillian Bittle
Jun 14, 2017 rated it liked it
This was a cute, short read with a great story line. Highly recommend it for those lazy afternoons!
Rudy Silva
Jun 02, 2017 rated it did not like it
This book was terrible the story wasn't interesting at all and sort of didn't make sense
Laura (Book Scrounger)
This was a short, amusing, medieval tale with several amusing (though underdeveloped, I thought) characters. There were traces of "The Prince and the Pauper" here, and many interesting medieval staples, such as sewer rats, a dancing bear, garlic, festivals, etc. I enjoyed the illustrations by Peter Sis too.
Sandi Mascio
A great intermediate grades book for students who enjoy some challenge, a good story, and humor.
Grace Bittle
A well written book, I learned a good lesson from it.
Wendy Tugwood
Sep 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A friend of mine told me about this little gem. Short enough to read in a morning, while sipping coffee.

Where do you find a good friend? In a castle? In the sewers? Both? In this short story, Prince Brat (aptly named) doesn't realize his behaviour alienates him from that which he really seeks...a friend. His whipping boy, Jemmy, turns out to be just what he was looking for.

I definitely recommend this book.
Ella N.
Oct 19, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants a fast-paced, grab-it-and-go book
Recommended to Ella by: Mrs. Adair
The Whipping Boy tells about how Prince Horace, called Prince Brat, is so bad that, though he can not be punished, a poor orphan child is plucked from the street to serve as a whipping boy. The mischievous prince decides to run away and take the boy, Jemmy, with him. They run into two cutthroats who take them for ransom. Jemmy tricks them into thinking he is the prince and the prince is the whipping boy. He then fools the men, Hold-Your-Nose Billy and Cutwater, into sending the real Prince Brat ...more
Kelly
Feb 12, 2013 rated it liked it
I selected this book for a grade 3/4 novel study to tie my literacy unit into my grade 4 Middle Ages unit. After some googling, I came across this book as a nice cross-curricular novel. During a recent snow day, I had the opportunity to read through the entire thing to begin planning my unit.

While I think the book is definitely appropriate for a grade 3/4 class (probably grades 3-6), I don't think the Middle Ages tie-in is as accurate as I was led to believe. The book makes mention of Lords' whi
...more
Abduraafi Andrian
Ulasan lengkap: http://bibliough.blogspot.co.id/2016/...

Seorang anak ditakdirkan menjadi penerima hukuman bagi seorang pangeran cilik yang begitu bandel. Ia biasanya berasal dari kalangan bawah dan ditarik ke istana karena diiming-imingi hidup yang layak. Jika sang pangeran nakal, tidak patuh, tidak hormat, maka si anak deraan inilah yang harus menerima hukumannya. Di hadapan sang raja, sang pangeran yang bandel mendapatkan hukuman melalui si anak deraan, biasanya berbentuk cambuk. Alasannya sud
...more
Eric Mcweeny
(chapter book)
The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman was a great read! It provided a great mix of action and storyline that middle school to junior high school boys will love. Jemmy, once a very poor orphan, is taken by "Prince Brat" to become his whipping boy. Jemmy's life immediately took a wild turn. His new job was to take the whipping's owed to Prince Brat. Because prince's were not allowed to be whipped in those days, every prince had their own whipping boy. The Prince is always getting in tro
...more
Jinky
Mar 07, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
(3.5)
Interesting tidbit that there was such a thing as a "whipping boy", someone taking the whipping for someone else. In this book, Jemmy is the whipping boy for the royal heir, Prince Horace (aka Prince Brat). So if the Prince acts up, which he often does, Jemmy gets the punishment ...boy, that'll teach the prince! (being sarcastic here). Anyway, during the runaway adventure the boys learn about friendship and other things. Like, although Prince Brat can be a dunce, he ends up having a tough s
...more
Analissa Cox
Apr 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Reading about a spoiled prince and his whipping boy was kind of a different reading experience. It made me think whether this kind of thing actually excited because what the point of punishment when you don't actually take the consequences but others do? I guess which was somewhat the point of the story to show that you must take the consequences of your actions, not leave them to anyone else. The adventures the boys went on running away from the two bandits where exciting. They always got away ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Dobry
  • A Visit to William Blake's Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers
  • Onion John
  • Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!: Voices from a Medieval Village
  • Tales From Silver Lands
  • Adam of the Road
  • Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze
  • Gay Neck: The Story of a Pigeon
  • The Cat Who Went to Heaven
  • I, Juan de Pareja
  • Roller Skates
  • Waterless Mountain
  • Miss Hickory
  • The Matchlock Gun
  • Shadow Of A Bull
  • Secret of the Andes
  • A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl's Journal, 1830-32
  • Shen of the Sea: Chinese Stories for Children
7536
As a children's book author Sid Fleischman felt a special obligation to his readers. "The books we enjoy as children stay with us forever -- they have a special impact. Paragraph after paragraph and page after page, the author must deliver his or her best work." With almost 60 books to his credit, some of which have been made into motion pictures, Sid Fleischman can be assured that his work will m ...more
More about Sid Fleischman...
“What was he looking for, a prince in fine velvets and a crown cocked on his head? Was it clothes that made a prince, Jemmy wondered, just as rags made a street boy?” 1 likes
“I am Prince Horace!"
"And I'm the Grand Turnip of China!" cutwater snickered.
"Dim-witted villains!" shouted the Prince. "I command you to turn us loose.”
0 likes
More quotes…