Sunday, September 17, 2006
Now, I know that the whole pirate thing is sort of trendy now, but Bloody Jack, by L.A. Meyer was written before all of the hullaboloo. The kids at my school are crazy for it, and now I know why.
Mary Faber was left out on her doorstep on that dark day that every last one of her family was killed by the sickness and hauled away in Muck's barrow. Alone and in the streets, Mary is cornered by a gang of kids, ridded of her skirts, and given a smelly shift to wear. "Come on", they tell her, and her new family is found. She is a girl in Charlie Rooster's gang now. They beg and have some other tricks to get pennies for food, and kip down underneath the old bridge. They look out for each other, and keep each other alive.
One night, Charlie doesn't come home. It's up to Mary to find him, and find him she does. Prone in an alley with his head smashed in. She takes his clothes and his trusty shiv. She cuts off her hair, and heads out. She has always dreamed of taking to the seas, and knows that a girl never could. She is finding life much easier as a boy.
Mary makes it down to the piers and scrambles up with a mob of boys who want to be taken on one of the King's ships. Calling out the reasons they should be on the ship, Mary pipes up, "I can read!". She is taken aboard, and when asked her name, replies "Jack". A new life is found.
Jacky and the other ship's boys form a brothership, and wonder about the first time that they will track down the pirates. Jaimy brags about how he'll be the first over as he swings his imaginary sword. Then the day comes when they do find the pirates...and Jacky earns her nickname.
But, how long can she keep up this deception?
A fast-paced adventure story that will thrill boys and girls alike. There's action, adventure, mystery and a little romance as well. A nice angle to historical fiction, and with the current pirate craze, very likely to fly off the shelves.
I loved it!