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The Whipping Boy. By Sid Fleischman .

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the whipping boy

The Whipping Boy

By Sid Fleischman


Prince Brat was always misbehaving and always needing to be punished; however, he cannot be spanked because it was not acceptable to spank the members of the royal family. Instead, Jemmy was taken from the streets of London and served as the Whipping Boy, receiving all of the spankings that the Prince deserved. Prince Brat mistreated everyone, including Jemmy. Jemmy decided that he would run away, and, on the night he was leaving, he was stopped by the Prince who demanded that he would go with Jemmy. Together the two of them are on the streets of London whenever they are kidnapped. Finally realizing that one of the boys is the Prince, the kidnappers demand a ransom. The boys escape through the sewers of London. Prince Brat suddenly found that he needed Jemmy, not as a whipping boy but as someone whom he could trust with his life.

chapter one in which we observe a hair raising event
Chapter One – In Which We Observe A Hair-Raising Event
  • What was the prince's nickname?
  • Describe his misbehavior at the grand feast.
  • What does the term common boy mean?
  • Who was Jemmy?
  • What is a whipping boy?
  • Why was the Prince Brat disappointed with Jemmy?
chapter two wherein the prince cannot write his name
Chapter Two-- Wherein The Prince Cannot Write His Name
  • What could Jemmy count on first thing in the morning?
  • Who was Master Peckwit?
  • Why did the prince insist that he needn't pay attention to his lessons?
  • How long did these whippings continue?
chapter three the runaways
Chapter Three-- The Runaways
  • Why did the prince wake Jemmy in the middle of the night?
  • According to the prince, what was the reason for his decision?
  • Why was Jemmy opposed to the prince's plans?
chapter four containing hands in the fog
Chapter Four-- Containing Hands in the Fog
  • How were they able to find their way in the night?
  • How did they become lost?
  • What did Jemmy plan to do as soon as he had the opportunity?
  • What was the yellow glow floating in the fog?
chapter five hold your nose billy and cutwater
Chapter Five-- Hold-Your Nose Billy and Cutwater
  • Who had apprehended the two boys and what was his reputation?
  • How did Cutwater react when the young prince informed him that he was Prince Horace?
  • What did Billy say to the two boys as he grabbed them by their ears?
  • What did Cutwater discover just as Billy was about to release the boys?
chapter six in which the plot thickens
Chapter Six-- In Which The Plot Thickens
  • Describe Billy's castle.
  • What food did Billy offer the two boys to satisfy their hunger?
  • What did Billy take from the wicker basket and place on his head?
  • How did the highwayman decide that the ransom for the prince should be fifty-five pounds in gold?
chapter seven being an account of a great mix up
Chapter Seven-- Being An Account Of A Great Mix-up
  • Describe the materials used to write the ransom note.
  • Explain why neither Billy nor Cutwater wrote the ransom note.
  • Why did the robbers think that the two boys had been lying about the true identity of the prince?
  • Explain how Jemmy's behavior changed at the end of the chapter.
chapter eight the ransom note
Chapter Eight-- The Ransom Note
  • How did Billy reassure Cutwater that he didn't have to worry about the king's soldiers finding them?
  • Why did Jemmy feel that it was important for him to act high and mighty?
  • What did Jemmy insist the highwayman should request for a ransom in exchange for a prince?
chapter nine revealing jemmy s plan to trick the villains
Chapter Nine-- Revealing Jemmy's Plan To Trick The Villains
  • According to Billy, why was garlic good for you?
  • What concern did Cutwater express about the note that the "prince" had written?
  • What caused Prince Horace's eyes to widen and his face to blanche?
  • How did Billy and Cutwater ensure that the note was not a trick?
  • How did Jemmy suggest that they get the message to the king without being nabbed.
chapter ten in which prince brat lives up to his name
Chapter Ten-- In Which Prince Brat Lives Up To His Name
  • Why did Billy and Cutwater finally agree to send the whipping boy to the castle with the message?
  • Why did Prince Brat warn Jemmy to be quiet and not speak harshly to the two ruffians?
  • What did Jemmy insist must accompany the whipping boy to convince the king that the message was not a fraud?
  • Describe Prince Brat's surprising behavior at the end of this chapter.
chapter eleven containing a great deal of shouting
Chapter Eleven-- Containing A Great Deal Of Shouting
  • How do the thieves interpret the young boy's refusal to deliver the message?
  • Why is Jemmy upset with the prince?
  • What do they offer to give Prince Horace?
  • What alternative plan does the quick thinking Jemmy suggest to the thieves.
chapter twelve wherein jemmy is betrayed
Chapter Twelve-- Wherein Jemmy Is Betrayed
  • Where did Hold-Your-Nose Billy place the ransom note and the golden crown?
  • Why was Jemmy convinced that not a soul at the castle would be fooled by the ransom note?
  • Why does Jemmy hide under the straw?
  • How are his plans almost foiled?
chapter thirteen the chase
Chapter Thirteen-- The Chase
  • What causes Jemmy to almost jump out of his skin as he runs through the forest?
  • Where does Jemmy hide?
  • Why was Jemmy angry with the prince?
chapter fourteen in which is heard a voice in the forest
Chapter Fourteen-- In Which Is Heard A Voice In The Forest
  • To whom did the wailing voice in the forest belong?
  • Why was Betsy carrying a chunk of amber honey comb and a coil of rope?
  • Where was Betsy headed?
  • How did Prince Brat react when he noticed the soldiers riding along the river road?
chapter fifteen of the hot potato man and other matters
Chapter Fifteen-- Of The Hot-Potato Man And Other Matters
  • Why did Jemmy intend to do with the driftwood that he was collecting from the mudflats?
  • What plans did Jemmy have for the bent and battered birdcage?
  • Describe what Jemmy saw when he crawled up over the embankment.
  • Why was Captain Nips willing to offer the boys a ride to the fair?
  • Why did the coach come to a sudden halt?
chapter sixteen wherein the prince neither bawls nor bellows
Chapter Sixteen-- Wherein The Prince Neither Bawls Nor Bellows
  • Why did only Jemmy hide under the potatoes?
  • Who did Billy tell Captain Nips he was looking for?
  • Why did Cutwater think that Jemmy had suggested a cartload of gold and jewels for the ransom?
  • How did the prince react to his own whipping?
  • Who came to the boys' rescue?
chapter seventeen petunia to the rescue
Chapter Seventeen-- Petunia To The Rescue
  • How does Betsy reassure the prince that he needn't be afraid?
  • What had happened to the two highwaymen?
  • How did the travelers manage to turn the coach upright?
  • Why did the soldiers quickly wave on the coach?
chapter eighteen of assorted events in which the plot thickens thicker
Chapter Eighteen-- Of Assorted Events In Which The Plot Thickens Thicker
  • Where were the chained prisoners being taken?
  • What did Captain Nips offer Jemmy?
  • Who did Jemmy meet at the fair?
  • What did Jemmy mean when he said he could do sums?
  • Why was Jemmy upset that when the prince shook Smudge's hand?
  • What rumor did the cow lady relay to the prince?
  • What information does Jemmy reveal to the prince about his "loyal" subjects?
  • According to the broadsides what had happened to the prince?
chapter nineteen being a full account of the happenings in the dark sewers
Chapter Nineteen-- Being A Full Account Of The Happenings In The Dark Sewers
  • What safe place or haven was Jemmy headed to when Billy and Cutwater spotted him?
  • Why was the prince hesitant to go into the sewers?
  • Why did Jemmy tell the prince that they must avoid the tunnel that led to the brewery?
  • What false information did Ol' Tosher give to Billy and Cutwater?
  • Explain the prince's words, "They look like they're wearing fur coats.
Chapter Twenty-- In Which The Sun Shines And We Learn What Befell The Whipping Boy, The Prince, And Everyone Else
  • Why did Jemmy agree to return to the castle with the prince?
  • List the people in the group who were ushered into the throne room?
  • Why title did the king bestow on Petunia?
  • What had Prince Horace sworn to do?
  • Where were Billy and Cutwater last seen?


How many of these words can you define?

What page are they located on?

footman, forbidden, cuff, carefree, plucked, defiantly, humbled, contrite, exasperation, scowl, bawl, gloat, bellow, obliged

tutor, muttered, duds, fetch, ferrets, scholar, spectacles, smirking, contrary,

rascal, spite, sums

manservant, wicker, bolt, moat, clattered, protested, dreadful, gallows

dawn, swirled, halter, maze, insolent, lantern, swayed, cutthroat, cleaver,


garlic, ruffian, ballad, exploits, highwayman, villain, jab, thimbleful, rogues, awe,

crest, desperately, scornfully, fled, genuine

moldy, thached, braided garlic, herring, brace, bleated, tangled, trifle, vagabonds,



rummaged, curs, document, erupted, scheme, mangy, quill, ignorant, amiss, flummox,

arrogantly, mere, orphan, haughty, gnat, witless

captors, loyal, scoundrels, pace, gnawing, sullenly, paltry, ransom, fowl, flourish

clove, plague, scrawny, glared, contemplated, varmints, scoffed, regal, insolent, oafs,

flogging, blanched, civil, stumble

precious, blab, tote, clashed, fuming, indifference, mite, decisive, pretense,


snatch, confounded, stubborn, lurching, parley, imposter, muddled, fathom, shuffled,

mount, nitwit, pitch pipe, stables

betrayed, gleeful, linen, squint, wheezed, brambles, dunce, moonshine, fake, truss,


thoroughbred, instinct, nabbed, bellows, deserted, bristled, pondered, dismissed,




grimly, garments, wailing, bracelets, spirit, coiled, amber, clinging, tatters, barnacle,

starched, resentment, stag,

ventured, embankment, billowing, masts, tide, exposed, stave, stooped, retrieve,

weary, mired, rickety, reins, bog, strained, resist, receding, cockeyed, heir

surge, burrow, scurvy, apprentices, muffled, scat, plunder, ounce, simpletons,


greyhound, tend, winced, scruffy, steep, hazards, incident

cobbled, immense, turf, convict, stalls, juggler, battered, canvas, privilege, fathom,

lingered, acrobats, stilt, harp, hubbub, flush, bleak, stammer, bluster, stout, gnarled,

archer, treasonous, wares, loomed, brazen, bushel, plump, balked, gorged

dogged, decree, urgent, bonfire, altered, derelict, barge, steeled, fret, sloshed, glazed,

brewery, manacle, inaudible, dank, gossip, sputtered, riffraff, curse, impulse, scuttled,

elation, abrupt, bearings, rebel, leeches

verge, befuddled, ushered, noose, notorious, stow, convict

students are required to do a minimum of five activities starred two are mandated for all
Students are required to do a minimum of five activities; starred two are mandated for all.

Whipping Boy  Activity Choices

*1. Write a dialogue that could have taken place between the King and the prince while they were alone after the prince's return. (You may try reading suggested question 12 at the end of the book for ideas of what kind of information to include).

 *2. Point of view-

       Tell the story from the point of view of  Jemmy, the Prince, Billy or Cutwater, or Betsy.

3. Figures of speech- Choose at least five of  Sid's many, many similes. Write them, the page number on which they can be found, and an explanation of what each is describing. Pick one of them and write a different version of simile that Sid could have used to describe the same thing.

4.  Follow the path- Write a summary of the story in 9-12 short segments and present it on a game board with an illustrated path  format.

5. Draw an illustration of  one of your favorite parts of the story and accompany it with an explanatory caption of what is going on in the picture.

6. Point of view-Choose one specific incident. Write the facts of what happened. Write three separate paragraphs below it, each explaining the reactions and feelings of three of the characters involved in the situation.

7.  Write a skit depicting one chapter/incident from the novel. Practice and present (with friends).

 8. New words- Choose 10 of the vocabulary words you identified. Write each, the page it was found on, the definition, and a sentence for each.