Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy (Bloody Jack, #1)” as Want to Read:
Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy (Bloody Jack, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  20,127 Ratings  ·  1,994 Reviews
While disguised as a boy, Jacky Faber experiences adventure and romance on the high seas.
ebook, 336 pages
Published June 1st 2004 by Houghton Mifflin (first published June 6th 2002)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Bloody Jack, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Jamie (ReadsInTrees) Dacyczyn A girl living on the streets of London disguises herself as a boy in order to join the crew of a Royal Navy ship. High seas adventure abound.
Jtomassetti In British English from the mid 1700s to the 1920 the adjective "bloody" was considered to be strongly obscene like the F-word is now. However, more…moreIn British English from the mid 1700s to the 1920 the adjective "bloody" was considered to be strongly obscene like the F-word is now. However, more recently the word "bloody" has become a comparatively mild expletive or intensifier. So around the 1800s when this book is set, it was a very salty word that might be common among sailors. But also Jack's clothes end up covered in blood at certain points in the book. (less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jean
Mar 04, 2008 Jean rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The audio version of this book does exactly what an audio version should do - it not only gives voice to a darn good story, but it carries the reader/listener into the heart of the story. The audio version helps interpret the dialect that the story is written in, which also helps give Jacky her character in a palpable way. This book is made for audio - it has action, adventure, and emotion, all of which are vividly portrayed by the narrator (I forget her name right now, but I'll look it up.) All ...more
Debbie
Oct 12, 2007 Debbie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: historical fiction; mystery; action adventures all in one
I loved this book. REminds me of the True COnfessions of Charolotte Doyle, btu for an older reader... 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 Fabe ...more
Gina Weibel
This book is about as much fun as Harry Potter...a coming of age story for a child with the odds stacked against her. And yes, BONUS, the heroine is a girl. I found it to be an engaging read with a novel setting and story line (for me). I'm so happy I picked up on the series!
Susan
Nov 22, 2013 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An extraordinary tale about a young girl who has everything and everyone taken from her and still unbelievably rises out of the ashes like a Phoenix to survive in a time of death and hopelessness. A great, captivating story with a completely original cast of characters that show great bravery and wildly cunning wit throughout. Mary/Jack/Jackie is a wonderfully imaginative and resourceful individual who I found to be extremely entertaining and couldn't wait to see what crazy thing she would do ne ...more
Clickety
Jul 01, 2008 Clickety rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, ya, adventure, fiction
I love, love, LOVE all of the Bloody Jack books. She does edge a little into Mary Sue territory at times, but not in typical ways for a female character. She's kind of like an adolescent female version of Jack Ryan (Patriot Games, etc).
Samrat
Apr 13, 2011 Samrat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, gender, history, ya, europe
Excellent story! I tend to like those gender-bending characters in general, but Jacky was especially well done. So many female action heroes tend to be modeled as boys in skirts - ass-kicking, bloodthirsty heroines out to prove they're not just some weakling girl. Jacky is a girl. She proves herself worthy in combat, but doesn't relish it. She plays a boy because it will secure her food and freedom. She challenges gender assumptions when her boyfriend wants to mold her into something she isn't. ...more
Joenna
Apr 07, 2007 Joenna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-fiction
Excellent story! I love the style of writing...I feel like I'm right with them on the ship. Can't wait to read the others!
Jeanne
Jul 23, 2007 Jeanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All me mates
Shelves: young-adult
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sherwood Smith
If you've ever wanted girl adventure stories, Jacky is your girl. What's more, Meyer manages to handle the tired old saw of girl dressed as boy and make it believable, describing her adventures with clarity, vividness, humor, and sympathy. Even the subjects one would consider somewhat dicey are well-handled, probably because Jacky's voice is so very assured, we always believe in her, don't see the author wincing or smirking or pushing the puppets about. Jacky is born to a nice family but they di ...more
Nisha
I love this book and just can't get enough of it. jacky's fabulous and absolutely crazy. Its just what I need, a good does of adventure following a streetsmart heroine who doesn't have a chip on her shoulder or an abusive family.

I think that the best part is that Jacky adapts to every situations and learns like a sponge. She's bloody talented and completely wild.

There is a smidgit of romance or love interest, which also manages to keep me hooked for the next book (and the book after that and so
...more
Jimmy Navy
Jan 18, 2009 Jimmy Navy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sangat mudah menemukan anak-anak jalanan di hampir setiap sudut jalan-jalan di Jakarta, sepertinya di banyak kota di Indonesia. Ada yang jadi pengemis, pengamen, pedagang asongan, dan pedagang koran. Kebanyakan, dipaksa untuk melakukan pekerjaan itu, baik oleh orang tuanya ataupun oleh orang lain yang “menyewa” mereka. Tapi, tidak sedikit juga yang memang melakukan pekerjaan itu karena ingin membantu orang tau dalam memenuhi kebutuhan hidup keluarga, atau bisa juga karena mereka memang sudah tid ...more
Joe
Jun 12, 2015 Joe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened-to
I don't normally read YA books because I'm an A and not very Y, but this was a book club pick, so what are you going to do? Well, it was because I would have never found this book on my own. In fact, while reading it, I wished that this series had been around when I was younger.

The story couldn't be simpler: A young girl, Mary Faber, pretends to be a boy in order to become a ships boy. She's an orphan whose only friend in the world was just killed so she takes off to the high seas and high adven
...more
Jane
Mar 27, 2009 Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jane by: Alethea A
Honestly didn't think I would like this one--you know, cause I get seasick, and this being a story about sailors and ships.

Jacky Faber has wonderful characteristics: strong female, too much pride for her own good, and clever. Her voice stays with you long after you close the book.

The only thing that bothered me (and this is going to sound really stupid) are the run-on sentences. I hope I'll get used to it with the next installment.

My favorite line: "The Captain is so happy, he's forgivin' you fo
...more
Jen (The Starry-Eyed Revue)
After reading Daughter of the Pirate King, I was in the mood for more high seas adventure. Featuring a cross-dressing girl trying to escape a life on the streets by getting hired on as a ship boy on a royal vessel, Bloody Jack definitely fit the bill. But it was funny, too. I about died when Jacky thought she had contracted some plague and was going to die a horrible death because she didn't know what her monthlies were. Bahaha. Yeah, it starts out young, but by the end of the book she's about 1 ...more
Felicia J.
Katherine Kellgren absolutely made this book for me. "Bloody Jack" is a well-written, well-plotted historical adventure, but Kellgren's performance transformed it into something truly special. She brought color and nuance to Jacky’s world, pulling me right onto the deck of the HMS Dolphin. I could hear the roar of cannons, the swell of the sea and the music played by the sailors in her voice. I can’t imagine experiencing this book in any other way.

Set at the turn of the 19th Century, “Bloody Ja
...more
Emily Mcelveen
Feb 13, 2009 Emily Mcelveen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone with a love for stories filled with adventure, fights, foul play, and the ocean
Shelves: book-club
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Celise
Jan 10, 2013 Celise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Pirates of the Caribbean fans
(Review edited in 2015, read in 2013)

I at first thought, several years ago when I saw this, that it was probably border-lining on being a children's book, or even a typical immature YA novel. But it was everything I wanted to read right now.

This came out in 2002, a year before the first of the Pirates of the Caribbean films, so no, it is not some kind of rip off, even with the character's name. It is really good for anyone who loves those movies though. I was actually so entranced by the imagery
...more
Hallie
I thoroughly enjoyed at least the first half of this, and enjoyed many bits after, so I'd rather give three and a half stars if I could...

Know all those great old ballads where the girl cuts off her hair, sometimes binds up her breasts and goes off to sea? With never a mention of how the hell she's going to continue to pass for a boy on a ship full of sailors - no private bedrooms or nice, locking toilets? Well, this book has the same plotline, except the heroine more sensibly gets taken on as a
...more
Sockich
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Althea Ann
Jun 09, 2010 Althea Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a YA novel, but it's also great fun. It's one of those books where I'm like, "There should be more of these." (And there are! It's a whole series!) None of the elements are terribly new or original (or realistic), but it's all put together well and has just what (well, I) like to read!
A young girl, Mary Faber, is orphaned on the streets of 18th-century London. She joins a gang of kids and learns begging and even some thieving, but when a ghoulish thug who sells the bodies of dead street kid
...more
Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
Great book! I was sucked in from the first page. An exciting story and a compelling main character. I love Jacky's voice; it's very strong. I finished it this morning and today I got the sequel out of the library! :D yaay
Natalie
Why did I wait so long to read/listen to this?? The audiobook RULED! Except that I had a cockney accent all night last night.
Kimberley doruyter
is it me or does any story having to do with the high seas not including jack sparrow not seem complete.
Samantha
Jul 21, 2017 Samantha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 I listened to this as an audiobook and just really, really liked it. I was alone with my 5 kids driving 13 hours on hardly any sleep but this book kept me awake and smiling the whole time. The narrator has a perfect accent and tells the story as of she isn't even reading it. I really loved the main character. Can't wait to listen to more of these.
Caitlin
Apr 19, 2008 Caitlin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: My family and Friends
Recommended to Caitlin by: Mom
Summary: Life changes forever when Mary’s family dies of Cold and hunger....
Mary finds herself in the streets of London with only the clothes on her back, which are soon stolen by a gang of urchins, who then adopt her into their group. Charlie, Polly, Judy, Nancy, and Hugh teach Mary how to survive on the streets. Begging, thieving, and running from the law become second nature to her. Then someone murders Charlie and Mary decides life is far too dangerous for a girl, so she disguises herself as
...more
Jodi Lamm
Dec 05, 2015 Jodi Lamm rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bloody Jack was exactly what I needed, right when I needed it. Its timing could not have been better. I enjoyed every moment of it.

1. Was the story fun to read? YES! It's an adventure story in the truest sense of the word. It didn't ever slow down too much for me. Mary survived the harsh streets as a girl, tricked her way aboard a ship, fought off pirates (PIRATES, y'all!), and lived under the looming threat that some crazy guy wanted to strap her to a kite just to see whether it would still fly
...more
Chris Aylott
Dec 07, 2013 Chris Aylott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've always been fond of historical YA novels, though I'm not sure they were called that when I was reading Johnny Tremain. Come to think of it, I'm not sure what they call them now. I haven't picked up any in a while, though, so this one just sort of jumped out at me on the library shelf.

It's a lot of fun. It hits the plot points you'd expect from the intersection of "swashbuckling Navy adventure" and "cross-dressing hero," but it does so with style. It doesn't hurt that "Jacky" is a resourcefu
...more
Sarah
Jan 24, 2011 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I completely loved the first half of this book. I loved Mary, I was totally enthralled by her experience on the streets of London and then on the ship and the whole thing was written in such a compelling voice that I really did not want to put it down.

But then came the romance, which made Mary quite silly, and the book kind of lost me. Don't get me wrong, I like romance, often even the dumb ones, but I felt like this particular romance really made Mary seem much less interesting (and much more w
...more
AH
Audio book

Absolutely wonderful story of a young girl who disguises herself as a boy to become a ship's boy on HMS The Dolphin. Story is well narrated and the narrator captures the young girl's observations well. I found myself smiling and laughing at Jackie's many adventures. Well done.

Recommended for middle grades and higher.
Anita
Jun 13, 2007 Anita rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a romp! Great fun.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Pirates!
  • Star-Crossed (Patricia MacPherson Nautical Adventures, #1)
  • Alchemy and Meggy Swann
  • Piratica: Being a Daring Tale of a Singular Girl's Adventure Upon the High Seas (Piratica, #1)
  • The Case of the Left-Handed Lady (Enola Holmes, #2)
  • The Diamond of Drury Lane (Cat Royal, #1)
  • Assassin (Lady Grace Mysteries, #1)
  • The Body at the Tower (The Agency, #2)
  • White Sands, Red Menace (Green Glass #2)
  • Wilderness Days (Boston Jane, #2)
  • The Road Home (Echo Company, #5)
  • Powder Monkey (Adventures of a Young Sailor)
  • Black Duck
  • Queen's Own Fool (Stuart Quartet, #1)
  • The Education of Bet
  • The Fifth of March: A Story of the Boston Massacre
  • The Dust of 100 Dogs
  • The FitzOsbornes in Exile (The Montmaray Journals, #2)
170658
Louis A. Meyer is best known as the author of the Bloody Jack novels. He was also a painter and the author of two children's picture books, and he and his wife owned an art gallery called Clair de Loon in Bar Harbor.

Louis A. Meyer passed away on July 29, 2014 from refractory Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. His final Jacky Faber book, Wild Rover No More, was published posthumously in September that year.
More about L.A. Meyer...

Other Books in the Series

Bloody Jack (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Curse of the Blue Tattoo: Being an Account of the Misadventures of Jacky Faber, Midshipman and Fine Lady (Bloody Jack, #2)
  • Under the Jolly Roger: Being an Account of the Further Nautical Adventures of Jacky Faber (Bloody Jack, #3)
  • In the Belly of the Bloodhound: Being an Account of a Particularly Peculiar Adventure in the Life of Jacky Faber (Bloody Jack, #4)
  • Mississippi Jack: Being an Account of the Further Waterborne Adventures of Jacky Faber, Midshipman, Fine Lady, and Lily of the West (Bloody Jack, #5)
  • My Bonny Light Horseman: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, in Love and War (Bloody Jack, #6)
  • Rapture of the Deep: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, Soldier, Sailor, Mermaid, Spy (Bloody Jack, #7)
  • The Wake of the Lorelei Lee: Being an Account of the Adventures of Jacky Faber, on her Way to Botany Bay (Bloody Jack, #8)
  • The Mark of the Golden Dragon: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, Jewel of the East, Vexation of the West, and Pearl of the South China Sea (Bloody Jack, #9)
  • Viva Jacquelina! Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, Over the Hills and Far Away (Bloody Jack, #10)
  • Boston Jacky: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, Taking Care of Business (Bloody Jack, #11)

Share This Book



“men i swear."
-jacky faber”
44 likes
“What's the matter Jaimy? Ain't-cha never seen a girl before?
-Jacky Faber”
38 likes
More quotes…