Meyer, L.A. Bloody Jack; being an account of the curious adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, ship's boy.

Author:Rosser, Claire
Position:Book Review - Young Adult Review - Brief Article

Harcourt. 277p. c2002. 0-15-216731-5. $17.00. J *

This stands up to Avi's The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle and to Iain Lawrence's trilogy of sea adventures: the action is riveting, the settings exotic and realistically described, the main character is memorably inventive and courageous. At the beginning of the 19th century, Mary, an orphan on London's mean streets, disguises herself as a boy and signs on to His Majesty's Navy as a ship boy. The ship holds 400 men and is assigned to hunt for pirates along the coast of North Africa and in the Caribbean. Mary, now Jacky, is small for her age and tough, so she has no trouble maintaining The Deception, as she names her task of shielding the truth about her identity. Life on board ship is described vividly and the reader feels a part of the voyages.

A few years pass and Jacky starts to fill out a bit and gets her period, so her subterfuge gets trickier. She and the boys are quite ignorant about sexual matters, for the most part, but they have been warned against pederasts, admonished to stick together for protection. Jacky is falling in love with another ship's boy, Jaimy, who in horror tells her he is afraid he...

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