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The Whipping Boy: 09/29/19
The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman and Peter Sís (illustrations) is a reminder of just how out of control my wishlist is, or more precisely, how I need to put more thought into prioritizing different types of books on that list. Right now there are 3604 titles on there. Put a different way, if I didn't add any more books to the list and concentrated solely on reading books off that list, it would take me eleven years to clear it.
To put the The Whipping Boy into a human scale perspective, the book was recommended to me by my son. It was the first chapter book he was genuinely into and his first big reading accomplishment in second grade. He's now in twelfth grade. I've waited ten years to read and review the book he so enthusiastically recommended to me. (He still counts the book as one of his favorites, by the way.)
The Whipping Boy is rather like The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain (1881). Except here, Fleischman takes the historical aspect of slave boys being kept to take the physical punishments for child princes and sees what happens when the two are outside of the confines of the castle.
Jemmy, the whipping boy, has a plan to escape, but instead, ends up outside the castle to rescue "Prince Brat." The prince is arrogant and dumber than a post. Jemmy, despite his coloquial manner of speaking is literate and better grounded in the lessons for what it takes to be a leader. This leads to problems when kidnappers mistake him for Prince Brat.
The Whipping Boy was my son's first realization (beyond me as parent saying it) that rank or position or wealth aren't an automatic sign of worthiness.