Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy Paperback – Jun 10 2010
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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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Bloody Jack was a fun adventure. I enjoyed the misadventures that Jacky was always getting into, and I liked how she was smart and intuitive. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Cheryl Weippert
I had read the books slightly out of order starting with Under the Jolly Roger and I will admit if I had started with this one I probably wouldn't have continued with the other... Read morePublished on Feb. 20 2014 by Sam
This is an amazing series. I read them when I was thirteen and now that I have money of my own I've bought them all and catching up on the three that have come out that I lost... Read morePublished on Dec 30 2013 by Elaina
Excellent for kids and grown ups! Well written, fast paced, delightful! We appreciate very much the well researched historical information, and have learned much about the times,... Read morePublished on March 1 2012 by Joey Ouellette
Bloody Jack is a good book. Mary "Jacky" Faber was orphaned as a child, left to fend for herself on the streets of London. Read morePublished on Sept. 23 2008 by Max Holiday
For anyone who loves books/movies that take place on boats like Master and Comander, Stowaway, Swallows and Amazons, etc. you will love this book. It is a book i couldnt put down. Read morePublished on Nov. 7 2006 by Gwenndyln E. King
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. Read morePublished on Feb. 1 2005
I think this is an amazing book though not yet done, It is written through the eyes of Mary and she is depicted well even through the writing (The bed grammar of an orphan). Read morePublished on Oct. 16 2004
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