Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy (Bloody Jack #1)

 
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4.9 (8)
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Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy (Bloody Jack #1)
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
12+
Release Date
June 06, 2002
ISBN
0152167315
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Life as a ship's boy aboard HMS Dolphin is a dream come true for Jacky Faber. Gone are the days of scavenging for food and fighting for survival on the streets of eighteenth-century London. Instead, Jacky is becoming a skilled and respected sailor as the crew pursues pirates on the high seas.

There's only one problem: Jacky is a girl. And she will have to use every bit of her spirit, wit, and courage to keep the crew from discovering her secret. This could be the adventure of her life--if only she doesn't get caught. . . .

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Bloody Awesome
(Updated: November 06, 2017)
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
This first-person present-tense piece of historical YA fiction begins a bit like a Charles Dicken’s work—eighteenth-century London, poor destitute orphan, cruel world. But from there, things get a lot more interesting…

Mary Faber came from a good family, but that didn’t spare her their loss to rampant illness at the tender age of 8. She’s quickly forced to navigate the unforgiving streets as an urchin—living with a gang of other children, stealing when she must, and sometimes earning spare coin using the rare fact that she happens to be literate. She lives like this for 4-5 years (age becomes a bit nebulous when she has no way of keeping track,) when tragedy strikes again and it becomes clear she must do something drastic or become prey to a ruthless body-hocker.

Her solution? Hack off her hair and pass herself off as a ship’s boy.

And thus, “Jacky” Faber is christened and put out to sea.
All of the difficulties of hiding one’s sex are examined and explanations satisfied right off the bat. And as Jacky hits puberty, her changing body becomes an ongoing challenge—which she works around with ingenuity and a hefty dose of cunning.

The jabs taken at cultural gender assumptions and biases manage to be charming rather than contrived, as they are coming from a young girl who is logically examining her options from a purely pragmatic standpoint. Her belief that she is dying when her menstrual cycle starts is somehow wrenchingly sad and hysterical in the same turn. And her pointed wonderings about why a woman’s virtue would be so prized and protected, and yet they be expected to wear impractical garments with easy bottom-up access may leave many readers wanting to reach across time and give our heroine a high-five.

I’ll admit up front, this book hit on one of my pet tropes: Female posing as a young male in order to escape a bad situation, find work, and protect herself from sexual exploitation. (Part of my fascination may have something to do with having a tenuous grasp on my own gender identity. I’m not certain. >.>) What IS certain is that the construct requires a lot of gall and guile. Two traits I hold in the highest regard.

My only complaints would be in the difficulty of Jacky’s dialect—which does resolve somewhat once she’s on the ship and better linguistics is expected of her. And the conundrum of Jacky’s actual age. When she initially sets her sights on a romantic interest, I was still running with the guess that she was just 14 (which I understand wouldn’t be as inappropriate an age in the time period, but still felt a bit discomfiting.) But at the very end you finally get the estimate of her being at least 15 years old. Which arbitrarily made me feel a tiny bit better about her eagerness to marry. >.>

Content Note: While the subject matter is sometimes suggestive, and there is a tense and somewhat disturbing scene involving a pedophilic crew-member, the handling is consistently thoughtful and laced with a crude tact—which comes off perfectly believable given “Jacky” is so inexperienced. I wouldn’t hesitate to hand this to kids 13 and up. (Overall a mature MG to solid YA feel.)

Final analysis? Snappily paced, skillfully written, and deeply entertaining. Bloody Jack kicks some serious pirate booty.
I’m not even sorry. >.>
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Overall rating 
 
4.9
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4.9  (8)
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Terrific Book!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by KJ

"Adventure And Deception On The High Seas" - Bloody Jack

Mary Faber was very young when she was orphaned on the streets of London. Taking place during the eighteenth-century, Bloody Jack follows young Mary as she searches for food and struggles for survival with her gang of friends. When Mary looses a close friend she realizes she wants to change her life. Cutting her hair and disguising herself as a boy, Mary "Jacky" becomes a ships boy on the HMS Dolphin. She has tricked her fellow ship boys and the rest of the crew thus far, but when Jacky starts becoming growing up, she faces quite a few problems...

This is one of my all time favorite series. Jacky is a lovable and overall great main character. The novel is filled with excitement and I would recommend this book to anyone.


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Five Stars
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by KitKat

Love it! Jacky is smart and cool, a really amazing main character. She's got flaws, too, though, and really comes to life! Normally I /hate/ historical fiction, but in this case I loved the book, even though it's set in the early eighteen hundreds. I'm reading the rest of the series pronto!
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Fantastic Read!!!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Sarah D

Mary Jacky Faber is an orphaned street girl in London in the early 1800s. She wants more for her life and grabs an opportunity to become a ships boy on the HMS Dolphin. Here the adventure begins! Disguised as a boy Jacky has some roaring adventures aboard the ship, out at sea, and on land. This action-packed, non-stop book will leave a smile plastered on your face as you become Jacky and experience her in all her English-Cockney glory. I couldnt put the book down, but when I finally had too, I was all too happy to pick up the second in the series (it is almost better than the first!)
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A amazing begining to an amazing series!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Abi

I love this book and all the books following this one. The fasinating story of Mary "Jacky" Faber begins on the streets of Cheapside London. Orphaned at a young age, Mary lives beneeth a bridge with her gang of ruffians. But her childhood friend Charlie is murdered she joins the British Navy diguised as a ships boy in hopes of a new life. But keeping her Gender secret on a ship made up of all men is difficult, expectially when she falls in love with another ships boy nicknamed Jaimy. Faced with the dangers of a life at sea, the capturing of a pirate ship proves deadly when Jaimy is nearly killed my a pirate when Mary saves his life. Mary, now christened Bloody Jack, is seen as a hero. But rumors of her unlucky nature rise suspisions among the crew and friendships become strained between her and her shipmates. It is then that she reveals her real identity to Jaimy and finds that the feeling is mutual.

Jacky is on top of the world when the persuing of a pirate turns sour and the ship is forced to land on an island off the coase of south america. As the smallest member of the crew Jacky is chosen to take part in an exploration to see if there is any land surrounding the island. But the rope holding Jacky to the ground uproots a tree and she is blown from the island landing on the lush rainforests of south america. The crew scrambles to make repairs to the ship and follow the smoke signals Jacky sends them from the mainland. But will the band of pirates they are tracking get there first? Will Jacky's diguise be discovered? Will she and Jaimy ever be able to fulfill there dreams of living together without the danger of Jacky's secret?
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Better every time I read it
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Jenna

This series is my personal favorite. But I would definitely recommend reading them in order!

Mary Faber is an orphan. In fact, she is one of the only orphans in Cheapside London who can read! One day after a tragic incident she decides begging on street corners isn't exactly her thing, so she heads off to the harbor, where she pretends to be a boy to get onto a ship. Her view on ship life is hilarious, especially because she calls everything as she sees it, down to the tiniest detail.

But her time on the ship is in danger because, wonder of wonders, she starts growing up. And along with growing up comes (you guessed it) her first love. Can you imagine how difficult it would be to pretend you are a boy while you're in love with another guy?

But anyways, the story is wonderful, the climax is great, amd the ending tugs at your heartstrings. All in all, a truly enchanting book.
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Exciting tale of misadventurous pre-teen with good & bad fortune.
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Marissa :P

L.A.Meyer is a very exceptional author of delivering a vivid show of triumph, despair, love, hate, and a girl's struggle in a man's world, literally. Jacky Faber is an exciting misadventurer with a bit of bad fortune that Meyer tells most wonderfully.
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WOW WOW WOW WOW
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Erin

This book is one of the best books that has ever walk across the earth. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this book so much. It is the best. It is about an homeless girl that is named Mary. She turns her self into a boy to get a better life. Everyone on the crew thinks she is a boy. This is the first book in the Bloody Jack Anventures. The best books ever.
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A hidden story
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Ireland

This book was one of my favourites ever since fifth grade, I loved the flow of this story and how many things you could find to relate to.
Starting out on the cold dirt- ridden streets there lives a orphaned girl with the rest of her gang of poor orphaned children. The adventure begins when Mary, the main character in this book, discovers a newfound wanting for adventure inside herself which leads to where she boards a ship as a crewmember.
I found this book to be page-turning and suspenseful when she decided to disguise herself as a boy (for girls were not allowed to be a crewmember)and board the ship to join the other lives of the boys around her.
From there on her journey leads through the waves and storms of the seas where she seeks for her true purpose and trys to keep hidden her biggest secret, that she is a girl!
I strongly reccomend this book to anyone for it was an amzing story and I think anyone would enjoy it!
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