Sarah's Stars

L.A. Meyer. Mississippi Jack
Harcourt Books $19.95  ISBN 978-0-15-206003-9  611 pg.
Reviewed by Meghan, Age 16

A stunned silence falls over the formerly festive crowd. What? What is going on? I dimly hear a parent say. Who? What? Piracy? I hear from the dumfounded onlooker. She’s just a girl! Why are they holding her? How could --?

Clarissa Howe, being the last one down the gangway, is the first to react to my arrest. She turns and charges back up, crying, “Like hell she is! Run, Jacky! Run!” and she launches herself at Captain Rutherford, as it was he who uttered those damning words.

The crowd is now roaring its disapproval, and others come storming up the gangway.

“Get her off me, dammit!” shouts the Captain, flailing his arms against Clarissa’s onslaught of fists, fingernails, and teeth.

“Let her go, you!” snarls Clarissa, baring her teeth for an assault on Captain Rutherford’s defenseless nose. His nose, however, is spared that grisly fate as the arm of a burly Bo’sun’s Mate encircles her about the waist and hauls her to the rail.

“But what do I do with her, Sir?” bleats the obviously overmatched Bo’sun, as he endures a torrent of blows and curses from the struggling form he holds.

“Throw her overboard, that’s what you do!” roars Captain Rutherford, outraged at this unlooked-for chaos on his holy quarterdeck. “And pull up the gangway!”

For those of you who have yet to meet the infamous Jacky Faber, you’re in for a treat. Returning fans won’t be disappointed by the latest volume chronicling Jacky’s escapades. Mississippi Jack begins with Jacky and her schoolmates sailing into Boston Harbour to the delighted cries of their parents and sweethearts. To Jacky’s joy even Jaimy is there waiting for her and it seems that the two will finally be together at last. But alas, it’s not to be. As soon as Jacky sets foot on the gangplank, she is arrested on the charge of piracy. But even the British Navy can’t hold Jacky for long and soon she’s on the run across the American west, making new friends (and new enemies). One thing’s for sure, nothing can keep Jacky Faber down.

We first met the delightful Jacky Faber when she was still known as Mary Faber, a waif on the streets of London. The Bloody Jack books follows her as she dons a boy’s name and clothes to follow her own true love, one James (Jaimy) Fletcher, to sea. From Waif to Ship’s Boy to Fine Lady to Pirate, Jacky’s story will keep readers on their toes and begging for more! The books in the Bloody Jack series are as follows:

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Bloody Jack (Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary ‘Jacky’ Faber, Ship’s Boy),

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Curse of the Blue Tattoo (Being an Account of the Misadventures of Jacky Faber, Midshipman and Fine Lady),

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Under the Jolly Roger (Being an Account of the Further Nautical Adventures of
Jacky Faber),

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In the Belly of the Bloodhound (Being the Account of a Particularly Peculiar
Adventure in the Life of Jacky Faber)
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Jacky’s stories are fast-paced, entertaining and memorable. There are parts that make you smile and parts that make you laugh out loud as you follow the impetuous and courageous heroine on through her many adventures. A combination of historical fiction, romance and swashbuckling action, here are stories told by a down-to-earth girl who will capture readers’ hearts.

The Bloody Jack adventures are one of my favorite series and I would recommend them mainly for girls, ages fourteen and up. The language is easy to understand and the font is fairly large so younger readers would have no problems with the reading. However, while there isn’t really adult content Jacky speaks very plainly about certain truths of life, which might not sit alright with younger readers. Despite that, Mississippi Jack is an excellent read, one I would highly recommend. If you enjoy the Bloody Jack adventures, I would like to recommend another series by Julia Golding about Catherine ‘Cat’ Royal, a heroine much like Jacky, with a talent for finding trouble. See Issue #63 The Diamond of Drury Lane, Issue #64 Cat Among the Pigeons and Issue #65 Den of Thieves.

I’d give Mississippi Jack five stars.

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