Ahoy, mateys! Get ready to sail the seven seas with the plucky Jacky Faber! He has all the characteristics you'd want in a ship's boy serving in His Majesty's Royal Navy in 1797. Jacky's brave, resourceful and plays a mean pennywhistle.
How did this come to be? Find out in L.A. Meyer's Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy (YP FIC MEYER and YP AD FIC MEYER). When she is left abruptly without a family, Mary seeks out alternate means of survival. In doing so, she discovers that taking on the guise of a boy simplifies the already harrowing demands of an orphan left to the mercies of the street.
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 they are.Mary ends up on the docks, where the Navy ship the H.M.S. Dolphin is assembling its crew. She relies on her inherent charm to earn her passage on board as a ship's boy. Soon enough, though, she learns that passing as a boy — let along a ship's boy — is only the first of many challenges she'll face in such tight quarters. She doesn't know the first thing about ships, and not all her shipmates are friendly. There'll be secret handshakes to learn, pirates to battle and adolescent love to navigate.
Bloody Jack is a rollicking beginning to the adventure series, which thus far encompasses 10 books:
- Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary 'Jacky' Faber, Ship's Boy
- Curse of the Blue Tattoo: Being an Account of the Misadventures of Jacky Faber, Midshipman and Fine Lady
- Under the Jolly Roger: Being an Account of the Further Nautical Adventures of Jacky Faber
- In the Belly of the Bloodhound: Being an Account of a Particularly Peculiar Adventure in the Life of Jacky Faber
- Mississippi Jack: Being an Account of the Further Waterborne Adventures of Jacky Faber, Midshipman, Fine Lady, And Lily of the West
- My Bonny Light Horseman: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, in Love and War
- Rapture of the Deep: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, Soldier, Sailor, Mermaid, Spy
- The Wake of the Lorelei Lee: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, On Her Way to Botany Bay
- 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
- Viva Jaquelina: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, Over the Hills and Far Away
- Boston Jacky: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, Taking Care of Business
The audiobook, narrated by Katherine Kellgren, is dynamite. Kellgren voices Jacky's rough, streetwise elocution perfectly, with its outrageous grammar and colorful patois. She portrays Jacky with jaunty confidence while not neglecting honest depictions of the fear and distress Jacky feels in battle or at the thought of discovery. The narration is a wonderful way to experience the story.