Select Page

The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman is a strong and entertaining novel to use to illustrate the abuse of power theme. It is a great book to use in your classroom or homeschool for a whole class novel study, small book groups, or individual book studies.

Sid Fleishman first published The Whipping Boy in 1986, and it won the Newbery Medal in 1987. The author uses a comical style, vivid descriptions, and some good literary devices to help the reader explore the ramification of one’s behavior and how the abuse of power can have negative consequences.

From the Book Jacket:

Jemmy, once a poor boy living on the streets, now lives in a castle. As the whipping boy, he bears the punishment when Prince Brat misbehaves, for it is forbidden to spank, thrash, or whack the heir to the throne. The two boys have nothing in common and even less reason to like one another. But when they find themselves taken hostage after running away, they are left with no choice but to trust each other.

I offer a complete novel study to accompany The Whipping Boy for use in the classroom or homeschool. The unit includes both a printable format and a Google Drive™ format for use in a paperless classroom or with Google Classroom.

Crown sitting on table

Sid Fleischman blends comedy with deep compassion in this memorable novel. The read offers a fun experience while provoking deeper thought and leading to extended conversations about how abusing power can have unintended and negative consequences.


Are you interested in reading about and sharing ideas with other educators on using children’s literature in your classroom? My goal is to bring together teachers and homeschoolers who teach grades 3-8 and use novels with their students. I’d love for you to join me to learn, share, and grow together!

Click here or the image below to join my Facebook group, Book Talk with The Teaching Bank!

Click to join Book Talk with The Teaching Bank


*The Teaching Bank participates in the Amazon Associate Program and earns a fee from qualifying purchases made on the Amazon.com site.