The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman is the tale of two boys who live in the same household, but have very different positions – and dispositions. The real life practice of having whipping boys for royalty is an inspiration for this story of “Prince Brat” and his whipping boy, Jemmy.

It was forbidden to spank, thrash, cuff, smack, or whip the prince.

Events unfold to take them both from the palace into the real world for some real-life lessons. They both learn about themselves, each other, the world, and ultimately, about friendship.

“I wish I were like you,” muttered the prince.

Jemmy was amazed. “Like me!”

“You’re not afraid of anything.”

Position doesn’t shape character, decisions do.  And position is not the only way to exert influence. And sometimes, people in high positions are reluctant to learn needed lessons – of all kinds.

You can follow the adventures of these two boys and learn some important life lessons along with them.


Copyright © Gienah Beaty,, 2016.  All rights reserved.  (“Crown” image by Jason Train available from per CC license)