That must be dark, I thought.
When I finally did pick up The Whipping Boy, I learned it was anything but dark.
Orphan Jemmy serves as the prince's whipping boy. Being the prince's whipping boy isn't easy, especially when that prince's national nickname is Prince Brat. But Jemmy learns to read and write and to put up with his job, until a failed escapade gets them both lost in the woods with highway robbers. Wily Jemmy knows how to escape, but with Prince Brat's stupidity and noisy mouth, he may be stuck forever, or worse, be arrested as a kidnapper for that bounty the king put on his head.
The Whipping Boy is short, snarky, blunt, and unlike last week's reviewed read Crispin, completely un-educational. I don't think there's much more to add to that. It made me laugh several times, but you have to appreciate hardcore kid sarcasm from a day where self-enforced playground rules still applied and self-esteem wasn't really a thing. Jemmy's not afraid to tell Prince Brat like it is, and I'm pretty sure most of us would do the same in his shoes. Prince Brat lives up to his name, but Jemmy's eye rolls and accompanied remarks will keep you entertained.
Rating: 3 and a half stars
Favorite Character: Betsy
Recommended age: 8+
Content for parents: a couple instances of the h-word, kids are nondescriptly beaten (to be expected by the title).
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