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Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy Paperback – Jun 10 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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  • Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 2 edition (June 15 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 015205085X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152050856
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.1 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 91 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #299,290 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

"I prays for deliverance," confides Mary Faber, orphaned at eight years old by a pestilence that relegates her to a life of begging and petty crime on the streets of London. After her gang's leader is killed, she dons his clothing, trading in the name Mary for Jack, and takes to the high seas aboard the HMS Dolphin. Meyer evokes life in the 18th-century Royal Navy with Dickensian flair. He seamlessly weaves into Jacky's first-person account a wealth of historical and nautical detail at a time when pirates terrorized the oceans. Interspersed are humorous asides about her ongoing struggle to maintain "The Deception" (she fashions herself a codpiece and emulates the "shake-and-wiggle action" of the other boys when pretending to use the head, for instance), she earns her titular nickname in a clash with pirates and survives a brief stretch as a castaway before her true identity is discovered (the book ends as she's about to be shipped off to a school for young ladies in Boston). The narrative's dialect occasionally falters, but this detracts only slightly from the descriptive prose ("He's got muscles like a horse and looks to have a brain to match") and not at all from the engine driving this sprawling yarn: the spirited heroine's wholly engaging voice. Her budding sexuality (which leads to a somewhat flawed plotline involving a secret shipboard romance) and a near-rape by a seaman mark this one for older readers, who will find the salty tale a rattling good read. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 6-8-With the plague running rampant in London in 1797, Mary's parents and sister are soon counted among the dead. Left alone and penniless, the eight-year-old is taken in by a gang of orphans and learns survival skills. However, when their leader is killed, Mary decides to try her luck elsewhere. She strips the dead body, cuts her hair, renames herself Jack Faber, and is soon employed as a ship's boy on the HMS Dolphin. When the vessel sees its first skirmish with a pirate ship, her bravery saves her friend Jaimy and earns her the nickname "Bloody Jack." Told by Mary/Jack in an uneven dialect that sometimes doesn't ring true, the story weaves details of life aboard the Dolphin. Readers see how she changes her disguise based on her own physical changes and handles the "call of nature," her first experiences with maturation, and the dangers to boys from unscrupulous crew members. The protagonist's vocabulary, her appearance and demeanor, and her desire to be one of the boys and do everything they do without complaint complete the deception. This story also shows a welcome slant to this genre with an honorable, albeit strict Captain, and ship's mates who are willing and able teachers. If readers are looking for a rousing, swashbuckling tale of pirates and adventures on the high seas, this title falls short. However, it is a good story of a brave ship's "boy" with natural leadership abilities and a sense of fair play and humanity.
Kit Vaughan, Chesterfield County Public Schools, VA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: School & Library Binding
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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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.
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By A Customer on June 21 2004
Format: Hardcover
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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