Bloody Jack (novel)

Bloody Jack (novel)

Infobox Book |
name = Bloody jack
title_orig =
translator =

image_caption =
author = Louis A. Meyer
illustrator =
cover_artist = Cliff Nielsen
country = United States of America
language = English
series =
genre = Young Adult's, Historical novel
publisher = Harcourt Children's Books
release_date = September 1, 2002
english_release_date =
media_type = Print (Hardback & Paperback), Audio Book
pages = 336 pp
isbn = ISBN 0-15-216731-5
preceded_by =
followed_by = Curse of the Blue Tattoo

"Bloody Jack" is a historical novel by L.A. Meyer. It is centered on an orphaned girl in London in the early 1800s. The story is continued in "Curse of the Blue Tattoo", "Under the Jolly Roger", "In the Belly of the Bloodhound", "Mississippi Jack", and "My Bonny Light Horseman".

Plot introduction

After describing the death of the family of the protagonist and her entrance into a gang, the action starts out with the main character, Mary Faber, struggling to survive on the streets of London with the other children in the gang, led by the quirky redhead Rooster Charlie, a kind but tough young lad who Jacky learns to love as a brother, and as a leader. The gang's life is rough as they try to survive each day on 18th century London streets. Mary is given the chance of her life. To finally sail on a ship as a sailor...But there's a catch.

Explanation of the novel's title

Jacky Faber, was named `Bloody Jack` fore` when the crew of the HMS Dolphin went aboard a ship to take, but one of her fellow shipmates, Jaimy had went over first as he stood there, frightened about what might happen. What Jaimy had not known was that there was a pirate that was behind him that had the cutlass raised above his head, but Jacky had found a pistol and shot that unfortunate pirate before he could do Jaimy harm. When she came back to the Dolphin she was covered in blood, therefore her nickname became known as Bloody Jack.

Plot summary

When Rooster Charlie is killed by Muck, a corpse seller to the local scientists and a back stabbing man that all the children despise, Mary takes his clothes and poses as a boy, in order to get a job. Dressed in boy's clothing, she hears a commotion at the docks and ends up being hired as one of six ship's boys on the British warship the H.M.S. Dolphin. Cunning and charming, Mary is hired on because she can read, and she signs aboard under the alias Jack ("Jacky") Faber. Soon she meets her fellow ship's boys, Willy, Tink, Benjy, Davy, and Jaimy.

Jacky catches the Captain's eye when she makes a new uniform for herself, and is told to sew up more for the others. Around this time, Jacky begins her period, but she mistakenly thinks that she is dying. Soon after, a pirate ship is sighted and a battle begins. The crew boards the enemy ship, and Jacky picks up a pistol from a dead pirate. She then sees a pirate making a path for the side of the ship and about to destroy the handsome, quiet ship's boy Jaimy that Jacky is developing feelings for. Then she shoots the pirate, who's carrying a chest of money, and thus gets the nickname,"Bloody Jack". It is in this battle that Benjy, a ship's boy in The Brotherhood, a club the ship's boys created, is killed. The ship heads for Palma to get repairs after the battle. Together the ship's boys go to get a tattoo to symbolize their brotherhood. Jacky then goes to a brothel to learn why she had her period earlier, and the ship's boys tease her about it afterwards, their adolescent minds thinking she went for a different reason.

Then the ship heads for the Caribbean Sea. While Jacky is in the schoolroom, Midshipman Bliffil starts to beat Jacky up, and only stops when the teacher scolds him. Jacky is put in the Sick ward for her injuries. She convinces Midshipman Jenkins to stand up to Bliffil and teaches him some fighting techniques. A crew member, Bill Sloat, threatens Jacky, and her sea dad, Liam Delaney, tries to protect her, which causes some bad blood. Jacky then begins to make plans of how she will inform the captain of her gender. When Bliffil attacks Jacky again, Jenkins stands up and is proud. Jacky begins to sleep in the rope locker because The Brotherhood is uneasy with all the bad blood around her, and this is when Sloat tries to rape her. Jacky tries to protect herself by stabbing him with her shiv, but she injures him more than she expected, and ends up stabbing him in the stomach and he stumbles overboard.Liam is put on trial and he is going to be hanged. Jacky then intervened and confessed to stabbing Sloat. She is put in confinement and thinks that she will be hanged soon, but she is set free because she acted in self-defense.

After that she is welcomed back by the Brotherhood, but the feeling is still uneasy. Jaimy comes to talk to her and that is when Jacky asks him to hold up a dress so she can mark it, and thus Jaimy learns that she is a girl and that she has feelings for him. Soon after they arrive in Kingston, Jamaica. Jacky and Jaimy go out on the streets, and Jacky wears a dress that she bought. They eat at a café, and Davy and Tink see them. Davy and Tink do not know that the girl Jaimy is eating with is Jacky, and she slips off and changes back into her ship's boy clothing. Then they set sail again and hunt for pirates.

They soon meet LeFievre, a pirate, at sea. There is a battle, but LeFievre gets away, and the Dolphin is damaged and sinking and men are at the pumps pumping out water constantly, but land is sighted, and they stop there. Soon after, Mr. Tilden, the teacher, wants to put Jacky on a kite and fly her up so she can see more land, but the winds blow so hard, the tree she is tied to is ripped out of the ground and after many hours of flying she lands on an unknown island. She survives there for a few days and uses smoke signals to try to get the attention of HMS Dolphin. A boat crew from the Dolphin comes to rescue her and she finds out that LeFievre and his pirates are on the island with her and waiting to ambush the rescue crew. She tries to lead the rescue crew away but the pirates catch her and hold her for hanging and ransom. She is just hanged and choking when HMS Dolphin rescue crew lands, and Jaimy quickly cuts the rope she is hanging on, and Jacky survives.

Then she is finally discovered to be a girl, and is confined from almost everyone on board, including her old mates, but they secretly sneak over to the grating above her room to talk to her. She is told by the captain that she will be enrolled in Lawson Peabody's School for Girls in Boston, and the book ends with her stepping off the ship.Bold text

Characters in "Bloody Jack"

* Mary 'Jacky' Faber: The main protagonist of the story. She came from a well-off family, who died of the plague. She was cast out into the streets. Later, she joined Rooster Charlie's gang. After Charlie is killed, she enlists with the crew of the H.M.S. Dolphin, under the ruse of being a boy. She has sandy blonde hair and large brown eyes. She's small for her age and is Cockney English.
* Rooster Charlie: The leader of the local gang that Jacky joined when her family died. He was Jacky's closest friend until he was killed by Muck, the corpse seller.
* James 'Jaimy' Emerson Fletcher: A fellow ship's boy on the H.M.S. Dolphin. Jacky makes friends, and eventually falls in love, with him. He comes from a wealthy family, and paid his way onto the H.M.S. Dolphin. He is more stable than she is. He promises to marry Jacky, using an earring as the engagement ring (they had to get this for the brotherhood pact). Jacky has her ring through the whole series.
* Liam Delaney: is Jacky's overseer and sea dad who gives her tips and saves her honor quite a lot.
* Muck: A corpse seller. He took Jacky's family away when they died and also took Rooster Charlie away too.
* Davy, Willy, Benjy and Tink: Four of Jacky's best mates with whom she and Jaimy blood bond and form the brotherhood with, on the Dolphin. Jaimy is the most important of the four boys.

Release details

2002, USA, Harcourt Trade Publishers ISBN 0-15-216731-5, Trade Paperback

2008 USA, Listen & Live Audio, Inc. ISBN 978-1-59316-094-4, Unabridged Audiobook

External links

* [ The author's website]
* [ Publisher's site]
* [ Review by Tom Knapp]
* [] -Audiobook Publishers Website

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