BLOODY JACK, by L.A. Meyer
Interest Level: Middle/Upper Grades
Audiobook Available in HS Library
I knew that several of my students had read all five books in this series, but they didn't really grab my attention---and the list of books on my "have to read" list always seems to be growing, so I never got around to reading this one. Then, before I left on a trip to Sam Houston, I asked Dr. L. to recommend an audio book for my drive. She had just come back from ALA, where she had been on the committee that awarded BLOODY JACK an Odyssey Honor Award, (for more info, click on the link at the bottom of this entry) so that is what she recommended. Wow! What a fantastic listen! I will admit that I stopped listening on about disc 5, because I wasn't paying attention and got lost. Then, other stuff (like my kids)took over the audio in my car and I never finished it. Anyway...During TAKS testing I decided to pull the book off my shelf and find the place I went astray. I ended up reading the rest of the book and LOVED it. After listening to most of it, I was able to hear the narrator's voice in my head while I was reading it, which was an added pleasure.
Bloody Jack is the story of an orphan girl names Mary Faber who struggles to survive on the streets of 18th Century London after her entire family dies. She manages to escape a life of begging in the streets by posing as a boy and being hired on as one of the ship's boys on the British warship the H.M.S. Dolphin. She is hired because "he" can read--and signs on under the alias Jack ("Jacky") Faber. She and the other ship's boys enter into a brotherhood of sorts...but she's always having to hide her true gender from them. Sticky situations ensue....I won't give away any of the story, but what a fantastic book. I can't wait to listen to the rest of this series!