Gr 5-7 Roles are changed when young Prince Brat, as everyone calls him (he is so altogether rotten that ``Not even black cats would cross his path'), runs away with Jemmy, his whipping boy (the commoner who takes the Prince's punishments). Because Brat has never learned to write and Jemmy can, a couple of prince-nappers decide that Jemmy is the real prince. Chiefly through Jemmy's cleverness, the two escape and return to court. Brat has learned much and changed for the better during his adventures. He winds up calling Jemmy ``friend,' and he is certain to be a better prince hereafter. This whimsical, readable story delights in the manner of Bill Brittain's books The Wish Giver (1983) and The Devil's Donkey (1981, both Harper). Full-page black-and-white illustrationssomewhat grotesque but always complementaryadd attractiveness to the story. The mistaken identity plot is always a good one: children, even fairly old ones, like disguises and this kind of mix-up. Supplementary characters are well-drawn both by Fleischman and by Sis, so the whole hangs together in basic appeal. Readers could well move from The Whipping Boy to its much longer cousin, Mark Twain's The Prince and the Pauper. George Gleason, Department of English, Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield
Gr. 2-5. Jemmy is Prince Brat's whipping boy, but when the spoiled prince decides to run away, it is Jemmy who saves them from a pair of nasty villains.
Gr. 3-5. Prince Brat's whipping boy, Jemmy, shows his true colors when he saves them both from peril.
Prince Brat learns about friendship and loyalty when he and the brave whipping boy Jemmy run away, are kidnapped, and must find their way back to the palace. The 1987 Newbery Medal Book. (Mr 1 86)
With his flair for persuading readers to believe in the ridiculous, Fleischman scores a hit with his new creation. Sis's skillful pictures emphasize events in the adventures of the orphan Jemmy, kept in his king's palace to be thrashed for the offenses committed by the royal heir, known as Prince Brat. It is forbidden to punish Brat, whose tricks multiply until Jemmy is tempted to escape the daily round of flogging. But the prince himself takes off and forces the whipping boy to go with him. As they get into and out of trouble on the outside, Jemmy hears that he has been accused of abducting Brat. When the prince arranges for their return to the palace, poor Jemmy fears the worst, but things turn out for the best at the story's satisfying close. Colorful types like a thief called Hold-Your-Nose Billy, Betsy and her dancing bear Petunia, et al., increase the fun. (7-11)