The Whipping Boy
by Sid Fleischman, Grenwillow books, 1986
1998 Nancy Polette

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1. BOOKTALK
He is known throughout the land as Prince Brat, a name he justly deserves! In his kingdom it is forbidden to spank the heir to the throne. So an orphan named Jemmy is plucked from the streets to serve as a whipping boy.Jemmy dreams of running away but finds himself saddled with the prince who is a less than desirable companion. Captured by cutthroats, Jemmy plans the prince's rescue, which the prince refuses to accept. He likes the adventure of being a prisoner! Escaping from thieves, bears, rats and other dangers, the two boys survive and the lives of both are changed forever.
2. VOCABULARY
Before reading The Whipping Boy, separate the words below that you think apply only to Prince Brat and those that apply only to Jemmy. Are there any that apply to both? Check your choices after reading the novel. Would you change your placement of any of the words?
whippings whacks gory-eyed orphan
palace irresponsible contrary contrite
brave humble tutor abject
gaw bawl exasperated  
3. WRITING ACTIVITIES
A) Master Peckwit, Prince Brat's tutor, was upset. The Prince could neither read nor write, and since the whipping boy, Jemmy, had to take the thrashings for the Prince's misdeeds, the Prince did not care whether he had his lessons or not. Everyday the Prince has a new excuse for not showing up with his homework. Write an excuse for today, using three of the items in the list below.
an apple core a string a rattlesnake
a dead rat a tin soldier bad shadows
a rusty key six fire crackers road tar
a one-eyed kitten a brass doorknob crazed deer
a kite a broken window mousetrap

B) There were many scary moments in The Whipping Boy. Complete these scary comparisons
1. Meeting a bear in the woods is scary but ______________is terrifying.
2. Walking through a dark sewer with rats is scary but ___________ is terrifying.
3. Being captured by highwaymen is scary but ________________ is terrifying.