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on November 11, 2007
Bloody Jack is a perfect pirate book especially for reluctant readers. There is just enough action, humor, and romance to please almost anyone. Jacky joins a crew on a navy ship as a boy and has to deal with growing up into a young woman while surounded by boys. On the ship she meets a man who,later, she sees as a father, a boy who she falls for(and in return falls for her, or as he sees her a he which he cant and wont act upon), a group of loyal friends, and a man who looks like someone she should completley avoid(and she tries to, till a point where he traps her, leading her to her first kill) and ofcourse the ever present pirates.

Jacky faber may be a fictional character but can still be role motals to girls of all ages telling them to be who they want to be.

Though Jacky is quite whiney and tends to state the obvious she is still a memorable character. The book is written by her point of view and is written by her so the words are quite annoying to read there are alot of singin' and dancin' etc. not proper but still good.

The other books can be read bythemselves but it would be a better idea to read this one first.
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on April 29, 2004
I thought it was a really,really good book, and i have read many. i almost didnt want it to end. Its about an orphan girl who, after the tradjic death of her beloved Chalie, the leader of the gang of orphans she lived with,escapes this hard unforgiving life by disguising herself as a boy to get a spot on the navel ship The Dolphin. There she gets good, constant meals for the first time in her life and forms a close friendship with the other ship's boys. She puts up with the trials of being a ship's boy such as the beatings of an evil middshippman,and the sexual harrassment of another evil shipmate.This is along with the many obsticals she faces to conseal her true identity which include her changing body and her feminity which even (gasp) makes her shipmates suspect her of being queer. But there are many wonederful things about her new life such as Jaimy, the ship's boy she falls in love with, and the thrill of chasing down and fighting pirates. I can't even describe how wonderfull this book really is.i thought at first it would be just another pirate book but i was woderfully wrong.I would recomend it to anyone who loves a good action packed book with a side of heart racing romance. it made me laugh out loud and cry, and any book that can do that is well worth the time.READ IT! It wont let you down.
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on February 2, 2003
Bloody Jack is, without any doubt, the best kid's book I've read since the last Harry Potter. In fact, it holds its own with Harry. It is told by its heroine - a 12 year old girl named Mary Faber who was abandonned on the streets of early 19th century London when her parents died of fever. She tells how she was taken in by a street gang where she gets tough and street wise for five years. At the start of the book, the gang leader is killed. She figures her chances are better as a boy so she cuts off her hair, changes her name to Jacky, and makes her way to the docks where she talks her way on board a British Navy vessel because she can read.
She is one of six cabin boys - mostly street kids who are thrilled to have a chance to eat regularly. They can't believe their luck to be paid as well. During their three year voyage - a mission to chase down pirates, they learn to climb rigging, work as powder monkeys in sea battles with pirates, do all kinds of work on deck and hope to improve their lot by becoming able-bodied seamen and regular members of the crew.
At the same, Jacky has to figure out how to keep her secret while her breasts are developing and she starts her period. She also develops a serious crush on the oldest of the cabin boys - a quiet lad who is the younger son of a real family.
In the process she has all kinds of adventures. The crew battles pirates. (She gets her nickname from shooting a pirate during a battle.) The boys have to learn to handle the discipline of the British Navy where they are junior to everyone including the 14 year old midshipmen - one of whom is a complete bully. They get shore leave in exotic ports like Jamaica. Their conversations about religion and education as they puzzle out the ways of the world are hilariously funny.
Jacky has to use all her ingenuity to keep her secret and survive on board ship. She is courageous, smart, strong and a natural born leader. And she has a sharp, funny voice of her own that tells the story in the manner of a girl who has learned to express herself from London street talk, ballads, newspapers and cheap novels.
One of the best aspects of the book is its portrayal of an adventurous girl who likes being a girl - not a girl who has always wanted to be a boy. There are too many stories where femininity is a synonym for weakness and the girl prevails by adopting male behavior. Not this one.
Jacky acts like herself and - because everyone THINKS she's a boy, they simply deal with it. She likes to sew and decides to make herself a uniform when she starts growing out of her clothes. Do the officers and crew think she is a weak sissy? Nope. Sailors had to sew. The captain issues her more fabric and gives her the job of outfitting the rest of the cabin boys.
In one of the battles, the ship takes a cannon shot that blasts a hole in the side of the vessel. The whole crew is put to manning the pumps. Jacky simply doesn't have the strength to manage. Is this a problem? Nope. Some boys are smaller than others, so they send her up to the top of the rigging because she is smaller and lighter and can get a better view farther up.
In fact, there is no problem with her being a girl - until they discover she is a girl. This is a subtly political point which Meyer makes over and over again - but without preaching or politics. Instead he has created a brilliant character and put her in a hugely entertaining tale and lets the story speak for itself.
This is a fabulous book. Don't start it late at night. You won't want to put it down until you are finished.
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on June 21, 2004
This is a nice little story about a girl who disguses herself as a boy. How very orthodox. I didn't especially like it, but then again maybe you will. They focus on her obsession with her bunk mate a little too much, instead of kicking pirate butt, which was what I expected from the summary. It was pretty predictable, but it gave you a little "haha" once or twice. The writing itself was ok, but as I am not learned in british slang from the 1680s, it was a little difficult to understand what the protagonist ment. It was a book I could put down and forget about until i stepped on it. I read it, and would suggest this book for girls. It may seem like a "boys" book from the cover, something like Stowaway, but a boy might not enjoy reading it. It was no Da Vinci code, and was about 8 levels down from the writing quality of Harry Potter, but if you really have nothing to do, check a book out from the library and keep this one on the shelf.
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on March 24, 2003
This is an excellent book. It is especially valuable as it presents a capable, resourceful GIRL as the main character in a marvelous swashbuckling adventure. It is well written, although the mild 19th century street cant and nautical terms might present a stumbling block for younger readers with limited vocabularies. These kids should slog their way through the book anyway, because the read is great fun and certainly worth a trip or two to the dictionary. This is the sort of book that helps young girls develop and maintain self-esteem, and helps young boys realize that girls are more like them than they might have expected . . . Bravo to Mr. Meyer for showing us in the best way possible that gender stereotypes are for the birds.
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on February 24, 2004
This book is a very, very good book. It is about this girl named Mary and the girl wanted to be sailor. She wanted to be a sailor. People on a ship came and took her family away because they where very sick and they had to be moved away from people and they had to go get treatment. They had to go get treatment because they where very, very sick. She wants to find love and her loving family to see if they are alive. She changes her self-Just so she could live her life the way she wanted. She changed her self into a boy so she could make it as a sailor. But in the end love always wins!!!!! I would recommend this book because it was an adventurous good book that I would read again if I could.
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on February 13, 2004
This book is a very, very good book. It is about this girl named Mary and the girl wanted to be sailor. She wanted to be a sailor. People on a ship came and took her family away because they where very sick and they had to be moved away from people and they had to go get treatment. They had to go get treatment because they where very, very sick. She wants to find love and her loving family to see if they are alive. She changes her self-Just so she could live her life the way she wanted. She changed her self into a boy so she could make it as a sailor. But in the end love always wins!!!!! I would recommend this book because it was an adventurous good book that I would read again if I could.
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on July 8, 2004
As a teenager, I have read numerous books about the same subject. While you read them, they all blend into one another and end the same way, and have no surpises in the plot at all. When I picked up a copy of Mr. Meyer's book, I thought the same about it while i read the summary. To my surprise i was enchanted while reading the first pages. Not only is the story rich with wonderful characters and dialogue, it is filled with sea-faring adventure, romance and humor. I have been told that teenage boys do not appreciate this story, but I am a male, and it is now one of my favorites.If books were money, this one would be gold. Mr. Meyer, I applaud you.
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on September 23, 2008
Bloody Jack is a good book. Mary "Jacky" Faber was orphaned as a child, left to fend for herself on the streets of London. Jacky decides to leave London in search of a better life after a terrible tragedy. She disguises herself as a boy and gets picked to be a ships boy on the HMS Dolphin, a ship in the royal navy. For those who are wondering, no, this is not a slash 'em and bash 'em up book, more like it details the struggles of being a girl in a boy dominated world, no offence. I would not recommend this for boys, but if you're a girl that likes to be defiant, this might be for you.
Great book, real good.
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on February 1, 2005
I loved this book! For me, a teenaged girl sailboat sailor, it appealed to me a lot. Most of the sea faring novels out there for teens are about boys and such. This one was narrarated by Jacky Faber, with her british street talk, which added a lot of charm to the book. I thought it was very well written and I really liked it and I am now reading the second novel in this series, the curse of the blue tatoo... not sure yet if i like it as much as the first, as the first was so good. Adults also wold like this novel, as I know many of them who have read it.
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