Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman

genre: children's literature

Prince "Brat" has a whipping boy named Jemmy, whose sole purpose in the palace is to take a beating for the prince whenever he misbehaves (because you can't whip a prince, right?). And Prince Brat misbehaves a lot.

When the prince gets it into his head to run away, Jemmy doesn't have much of a choice but to join him and some serious adventures ensue. There are highwaymen, country fairs and lots of sewer rats. What's not to love?

I read this one out loud to my sons, age 5 and 8 and they ate it UP, I tell you. The "cutthroats" are evil and blundering (just right) and Prince Brat's journey to being a better friend (while a bit swift if you really think about it) was a good, but not sappy or too overplayed, message. While I'm not sure I'd say it was absolutely incredible, I'm glad we read it.

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