Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Whipping Boy, by Sid Fleischman

Prince Horace is a spoiled brat, one who’s constantly causing trouble in an attempt to get his father’s attention.  He’s a kid who’s in serious need of a good spanking, but since he’s the prince no one can raise a hand against him.  Instead, his family has taken in an orphan boy named Jemmy, whose sole purpose in life is to receive punishments on behalf of the prince whenever Horace misbehaves.  It’s a horrible life and Jemmy longs for his freedom, which suddenly comes one day when Prince Horace decides to run away from the castle!

I read this book for the first time in second grade, and one of the main reasons it appealed to me back then was because of how Prince Horace’s unfair arrangement was laid bare from the beginning.  Imagine, being punished for doing absolutely nothing wrong…or even worse, having someone intentionally do something wrong in order to get you in trouble!  This unjust way of life is immediately identifiable for anyone who’s ever had the thought that “life isn’t fair”, and it’s no wonder that Mr. Fleischman was presented with the Newbery Award for his great story. 

No comments:

Post a Comment