1. Pick a passage from the book that creates a picture in your mind. Write it down, including page number and paragraph number. Then illustrate the passage on a separate sheet of paper. Have each person in your group tell what he or she sees in the illustration.
Students' responses will vary. Students should be prepared to read their chosen passages aloud, and explain why they chose them, in addition to sharing their illustrations.
2. Find the classic tale The Prince and the Pauper, and read it. How is this tale similar to The Whipping Boy? How is it different?
This classic story by Mark Twain is one of his most accessible novels, and it is also available in abridged versions for children. The basic premise of the story is very similar to that of The Whipping Boy: the identities of a poor commoner and a prince are switched. In Twain's story, the boys (who look so similar to each other that even their parents can not tell them apart) choose to change places so that they will each gain a new perspective on life, and they both gain understanding of the world through the exchange. In The Whipping Boy, however, the identities of the two boys are confused through a mistake, and as a result of their adventure together, the boys grow to become friends and trust each other.