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

(Bloody Jack #1)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  24,459 ratings  ·  2,354 reviews
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 h
...more
Kindle Edition, Kindle Edition, 293 pages
Published June 1st 2004 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published June 6th 2002)
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Jamie 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 r…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)

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Start your review of Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy (Bloody Jack, #1)
Jean
Mar 04, 2008 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 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
Melki
Mary Faber, a young guttersnipe living in eighteenth-century London, cuts her hair, pulls on some pants, and signs up as a ship's boy on the HMS Dolphin. On board, "Jacky" Faber soon acquires a reputation as a brave and fearless pirate-fighter. It's a grand adventure for both Mary, and the reader.

Though much of the book is taken up with Mary's efforts to camouflage her femininity, AND her struggle to hide her feelings for another ship's boy, there's plenty of action and treachery to keep things
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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!
Wanda
3.5 stars

”It's easier bein' a boy, 'cause when someone needs somethin' done like holdin' a horse, they'll always pick a boy 'cause they think the dumbest boy will be better at it than the brightest girl, which is stupid, but there you are.”


I liked this book a fair bit, but there were a couple of ways in which it disappointed me. As the quote above illustrates, there is a bit of commentary on the role of women during this time period. The basic plot is quite liberating for Jacky—she impersona
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Sarah
Jan 24, 2011 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
Samrat
Apr 13, 2011 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
Clickety
Jul 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, ya, library, adventure
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).
Cori
I'll admit it! One of my guilty pleasure reads is era-pieces in which women disguise themselves as men. Also, most all piratey situations. Enter a novel about a girl dressing as a boy...not a pirate. But close. Give me that old time religion!

This was a fun little book!

The progression of Mary "Jacky" Faber from a ten year old to a fifteen year old was well played out. It was interesting to see how the author shifted Jacky's mindset from child to young woman. In fact, her depiction of Jacky as a b
...more
✨Susan✨
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
Joenna
Apr 07, 2007 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!
Joe
Jun 12, 2015 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
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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
Carol
Aug 15, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jeanne
Jul 23, 2007 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.
Celise
Jan 10, 2013 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
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
Felicia J.
Sep 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: five-stars
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
Sockich
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Althea Ann
Jun 09, 2010 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
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
Jane
Mar 27, 2009 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
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Ellen
I wanted to like this more than I did, and I can't quite put my finger on why this was just an okay book to me. Jackie is a fun character. I guess it just didn't quite click.

Content warning: some gruesome violence and some sex talk and sexual situations including an attempted rape

2018 challenge: a book set at sea
lottie
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, 2019, ya, pirates
[blows a kiss to the east] for Nicole
Emily Mcelveen
Feb 13, 2009 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.
Jamie Dacyczyn
2020: If my Goodreads records are accurate, this is my 7th listen of this audiobook. Maybe I have a problem....

2018: I guess it's official that this series will never get old for me, at least not the first books. This will have been the sixth time that I've listened to book 1. Still a joy, still vastly entertaining. I also got a little teary-eyed at the end when the narrator says "This has been a recording of 'Bloody Jack' by L A Meyer, read to you by Katherine Kellgren. It's the first time that
...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
Mary
Jul 09, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: donny-s-bookclub
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elly
Nov 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. I fell in love with this book and the main character, Mary "Jacky" Faber, immediately. From Mary's rough start as a street kid in plague-ridden London in 1797 to her elaborate deception as Jack, a ship's boy on the HMS Dolphin, I loved every minute.

The voice talent on the audiobook is superb. An absolute joy to listen to. I had many things to do today and ignored all of them, caught as I was in the spell of this book. I will read any book I can about this character.
MarthaK
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can’t recommend this series enough. The exciting narrative of our intrepid teen heroine will buoy you through any rough seas.
This audiobook is one of the very best. Katherine Kellgren’s impersonations of these colorful, indelible characters will delight you. This book starts the adventure off with an orphaned girl learning to survive on the streets of 18th century London and transcendently builds into a brilliant adventure.
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1,043 followers
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.

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)

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