Monday, February 11, 2013

MMGM-The Whipping Boy

I checked out three Newbery Books from the library. I started reading all three at the same time, to see which one caught my attention. This is the one I finished first.

The Whipping Boy
Scholastic 1987
By Sid Fleischman


This is what it says on the back cover:  Jemmy, once a poor boy living on the streets, now lives in a castle. As the whipping boy, he bears the punishment when Prince Brat misbehaves, for it is forbidden to spank, thrash, or whack the heir to the throne. The two boys have nothing in common and even less reason to like one another.  But when they find themselves taken hostage after running away, they are left with no choice but to trust each other.

From looking at the cover, I wasn't sure if I would like this book. But, I did! It was a fun read of only 13,280 words. I know it seems like the trend for MG books is to be longer, but I tend to like the shorter ones. I say it's not the quantity of the pages but the quality of the pages.

This is a fun book with fun characters. There is hope for everyone. It takes a while, but Prince Brat turns out to be a good friend in the end.

Give this one a try, I think you will like it.

For more middle grade fun, check the links on

Posted by Janet F. Smart on Creative Writing in the Blackberry Patch.


  1. This sounds like an interesting book. I too would've passed it by because of the cover. (That shows how important covers are, doesn't it?).

  2. I agree with you about quality vs. quantity. Not every MG book needs to be a long one. And while I worked at the bookstore, quite a few customers asked for shorter books!

    Ashamed to say I've never read this. But I'll get to it someday. I'm working my way through Newbery winners too.

  3. I read this aloud with my kids a few years was nothing like we thought it would be (and delightfully so!).

  4. I have read this one and enjoyed it! It is a good length for a lot of kids. :) Great review!

  5. I read and reviewed this a few months ago, and I really liked it, too!

  6. Thanks for the review! I remember this from when my boys were small. I hadn't read it so i will be putting it on my list. I agree about short books. I find them to be perfect for middle grade readers. There are few 8-13 year-olds that will enjoy toting a book for longer than a couple weeks. And welcome to MMGM, I've been really behind on my blog hopping. ;)


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