Friday, February 10, 2012

Review: The Whipping Boy - Sid Fleischman

The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman
Genre: Middle Grade, historical fiction, comedy
Published on April 14, 1986
Published by Greenwillow Books
Pages: 90

A shout comes echoing up from 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 of running away, Jemmy finds himself trapped in Prince Brat's own dream - at once brash and perilous.


This is a fabulously entertaining little short story, with memorable characters and fun situations of peril. Perhaps I am especially partial to this story because I loved the movie when I was little. Prince Horace is one of the most adorable little brats, as his name implies, that exists in literature; one cannot help but laugh at his little tantrums and indignant speeches. You can't take his ill behavior seriously. And Jemmy is an equally likable little urchin. I dare anyone to not get some small pleasure out of this simple little story, no matter their age.

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