Mary Faber has been forced to take care of herself since the day her Mum, Dad, and little sister die of plague. Joining the Rooster Charlie gang, Mary begs, borrows, and steals her way to another day of life. They sleep beneath a bridge and occasionally Mary uses her talent of reading to earn them a farthing or two. But when Rooster Charlie is murdered, Mary takes the opportunity to relieve him of his clothes, which he won't be needing anymore, and signs up to be a Ship's boy aboard the Dolphin. And so Mary becomes Jack or Jacky Faber, Ship's boy. Her adventures tale her all over the Atlantic, fighting the French, chasing pirates, and falling in love with Jaimy who has no idea that Jacky is a girl.
This story is absolutely delightful. It's Treasure Island and Alanna: The First Adventure rolled into one. Written in first person dialect, Jacky's quick tongue and bravery will make anyone fall in love with her, despite her propensity for trouble. And get into trouble she does. Nearly beaten senseless by one of the Midshipmen, almost raped (and that was when the sailor thought she was a he), the instigator of a bond between the Ship's boys that results in permanent anchor tattoos, as well as being carried off by a kite, and hung by pirates. And those are just her finer moments. Yet Jacky is a girl despite all her lies and admits that despite everything, she isn't really that brave. This is a breath of fresh air where many historical novels often have the tomboy girl absolutely hating her womanhood. Jacky is simply a survivor, but beneath everything, she is still a girl.
Need a good adventure story? This is it. I don't know if the boys would be as interested in the story as there is a lo of pining done by Jacky as well as some womanly problems that may make the boys blush, but if you are looking for a strong, smart, witty, and lovable protagonist then look no further than Jacky Faber. She will make you laugh and cry and want more and lucky for us L.A. Meyer has written eight books featuring our Miss Faber.