Cover image for Curse of the blue tattoo : being an account of the misadventures of Jacky Faber, midshipman and fine lady
Curse of the blue tattoo : being an account of the misadventures of Jacky Faber, midshipman and fine lady
Meyer, L. A. (Louis A.), 1942-
First edition.
Publication Information:
Orlando, Fla. : Harcourt, [2004]

Physical Description:
488 pages ; 22 cm
In 1803, after being exposed as a girl and forced to leave her ship, Jacky Faber finds herself attending school in Boston, where, instead of learning to be a lady, she battles her snobbish classmates, roams the city in search of adventure, and learns to ride a horse.
Reading Level:
1120 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG+ 5.7 21.0 78252.

Reading Counts RC High School 8.6 28 Quiz: 36448 Guided reading level: NR.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Young Adult
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult

On Order



After being exposed as a girl, Jacky Faber is forced to leave the Dolphin and attend the elite Lawson Peabody School for Young Girls in Boston. But growing up on the streets of London and fighting pirates never prepared Jacky for her toughest battle yet: learning how to be a lady.

Everything she does is wrong. Her embroidery is deplorable, her French is atrocious, and her table manners--disgusting! And whenever Jacky roams the city in search of adventure, trouble is never far behind. Then there's the small matter of her blue anchor tattoo. . . .

So will Jacky ever become a typical lady? Not bloody well likely! But whether she's triumphing over her snobbish classmates, avenging a serving girl's murder, or winning over a stubborn horse that's as fast as the wind, one thing's for sure: Jacky's new life in Boston is just as exciting as her old one on the high seas.

Author Notes

L. A. Meyer was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania in 1942. He received a B.A. in English literature from the University of Florida in Gainesville and soon after, enlisted in the U.S. Navy for a four year-stint. He worked as a social worker and then published two picture books, The Gypsy Bears and The Clean Air and Peaceful Contentment Dirigible Airline, before receiving his M.F.A. in painting from Boston University in 1973.

He taught high school art in Massachusetts for seven years and then left to open art and design shops. His first novel for young readers, Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy, was published in 2002. It became the first book in the Bloody Jack Adventure series. He died from Hodgkin's lymphoma on July 29, 2014 at the age of 71.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 6-9. Taking up where the original story of Bloody Jack (2002) left off, this early-nineteenth-century adventure story begins with Jacky Faber, no longer disguised as a ship's boy, leaving the Dolphin and going to her new home, the Lawson Peabody School for Young Girls. There Mistress Pimm takes on the formidable task of transforming the indomitable scamp into a young lady. Good-hearted but spirited and unconventional, Jacky tries to learn, but finds it impossible to conform to an ideal of womanhood that does not include lewd exhibitions of singing and dancing, dressing in men's clothing, consorting with drunkards and prostitutes, and using language as salty as any sailor's. Though her boldness puts her in situations dangerous to her safety and her virtue, Jacky manages to bring the complete downfall of a detestable preacher and good fortune to her many friends. The characterizations are undeniably broad, but one of the riches of this entertaining novel is the large, Dickensian cast of colorfully named figures--e.g., the enigmatic theatrical duo Mr. Fennel and Mr. Bean. Happily, the book's conclusion promises a sequel with Jacky at sea once more. --Carolyn Phelan Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this second installment of the series begun with Bloody Jack (which PW called "a rattling good read"), Mary "Jacky" Faber goes ashore, enrolled in the Lawson Peabody School for Young Girls in Boston where she helps solve a murder mystery. Ages 12-up. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 8 Up-In this sequel to Bloody Jack (Harcourt, 2002), Meyer continues the adventures of the wild and wanton Jacky, who sailed aboard HMS Dolphin as a crewmember until it was discovered that he was really a girl. Here, she must leave her true love, Jaimy, when she is put ashore in Boston for a new start at an elite girls' school. She describes her snobbish classmates and the failed attempts of the headmistress to make a lady out of her. A natural show-off, Jacky loves to play her pennywhistle and dance on the streets. When she is arrested and jailed for showing some knee, she is demoted to serving girl. She hooks up with a drunken violin player to perform in taverns to earn money to get back to England and her Jaimy. With her propensity for plunging headfirst into trouble, the irrepressible Jacky rolls quickly from one adventure to another. As the story ends, she signs onto a whaler bound for England, leaving an opening for a third volume. Meyer does an excellent job of conveying life in Boston in 1803, particularly the rights, or lack thereof, of women. Jacky's headstrong certainty that she's in control and her cocky first-person account make her a memorable heroine. The narrative is full of lecherous men, and Jacky herself is free in her ways. This fact and the sometimes-strong language make this book more appropriate for older readers. Sure to please fans of the first title, this adventure-packed historical novel also stands on its own.-Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



It was a hard comin' I had of it, that's for sure.It was hard enough comin' up from the brig, the cell down below where they had me kept these past few weeks, squintin' into the light to see all of the dear Dolphin's sailors lined up along the spars of the great masts and in other parts of the riggin', all four hundred of 'em, bless 'em, my mates for the past year and a half, all cheerin' and hallooin' and wavin' me off.It was hard, too, walkin' across to the quarterdeck, where the officers were all pulled up in their fancy uniforms and where the midshipmen and side boys made two rows for me to walk between on my way off the ship, and there's Jaimy all straight and all beautiful in his new midshipman's uniform, and there's Davy and Tink and Willy, the boys of the Brotherhood to which I so lately belonged, and there's my dear sea-dad Liam lookin' as proud as any father. The Bo'sun's Mate puts his pipe to his lips and starts the warble to pipe me off the Dolphin, my sweet and only home, and I start down between their ranks, but I stop in front of Jaimy and I look at the Captain and I pleads with my teary eyes. The Captain smiles and nods and I fling my arms around Jaimy's neck and kiss him one last time, oh yes I do, and the men cheer all the louder for it, but it was short, oh so short, for too soon my arm is taken and I have to let go of Jaimy, but before I do I feel him press something into my hand and I look down and see that it's a letter. Then I'm led away down the gangway, but I keep my eyes on Jaimy's eyes and my hand clutched around his letter as the Professor hands me up into the carriage that's waitin' at the foot of the gangway. I keeps my eyes on Jaimy as the horses are started and we clatter away, and I rutch around in my seat and stick my head out the window to keep my blurry eyes on him but it's too far away now for me to see his eyes, just him standin' there at the rail lookin' after me, and then the coach goes around a corner and that's all. He's there, and then he's not.That was the hardest of all. I put my fingertips to my lips where his have just been and I wonder when they will again touch me in that place. If ever...Oh, Jaimy, I worry about you so much 'cause the war's on again with Napolon and all it takes is one angry cannonball, and oh, God, please.I leave off what has up to now been fairly gentle weeping and turn to full scale, chest heavin', eyes squeezed shut, open mouth bawlin'."Well," says Professor Tilden, sittin' across from me, "you certainly have made a spectacle of yourself today, I must say."...don't care don't care don't care don't care..."You should compose yourself now, Miss. The school is not a far ride from the harbor. Here," he says, handing me a handkerchief, "dry your eyes."The Professor is taking me to the Lawson Peabody School for Young Girls, which is where they decided to dump me after that day on the beach when my grand Deception was blown out of the water for good and ever and I was Excerpted from Curse of the Blue Tattoo: Being an Account of the Misadventures of Jacky Faber, Midshipman and Fine Lady by L. A. Meyer All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.