Raising Hoodlums

Home Ec Memories
Power Dressing!

Are You Raising One of the Next Generation of Hoodlums?
Prince O. and Teal

Thank you for this one, submitter!  It’s not old.  It’s not a bad topic.  It’s just a weird title.  I’m not suggesting weeding this, I’m just laughing at the title.  When was the last time you heard someone use the term “hoodlum?”  It sounds like something my grandma would say about the kids walking around with their pants somewhere around their knees.  It is obviously aimed at boys, specifically.  What do you call a girl hoodlum?  Lord knows they’re out there…



  1. The stock photo was a poor choice too. For one, that kid is not a hoodlum, and two, I wonder if it has racist implications as well.

  2. This is wrong on soooo many levels. “Hoodlums’ is out of date, the photograph is un-PC with gender and race and seems to portray that reading to your children would lead to “hoodlum-ism”. Yes, don’t read to your children. They might get ideas and change the world – those hoodlums!

  3. It might obviously be aimed at boys, but I’m really wondering why the cover features a black man and boy. I’m not sure I’d leave this one on the shelves.

  4. My husband and I frequently use the word “hoodlum” as a genderless word to describe the teenagers hanging around town that we don’t want our daughters to emulate. Point to one of these loiterers – male or female – and ask my 10 and 11 year old girls what they see. They’ll tell you, “Hoodlums.” Sometimes they’ll seek clarification, “Mom, is that a hoodlum?” but in general they’ve got the concept down.

    It is possible that we’re the only ones of our generation using the term, but we do so with humor. I love this book title and I think I may try to find a copy for a Father’s Day gift. 🙂

  5. @Hilary – Oh, I love using old fashion words like “hoodlum” – also trollup, harlot, etc. So you’re not the only one using it. But you might be the only one with kids who’s using it.

  6. I used it last week. On Twitter. As part of a hashtag, #hooliganswithmortgages.

    I’m heavily involved in soccer fan groups here in the US, though, and we tend to use it as a ridicule on the idea that any fan of soccer instantly becomes involved in hooliganism on the levels seen in other countries with centuries long footy traditions.

    (Technically, though, I’m not a hooligan with a mortgage, I’m a hooligan with student loans)

  7. It doesn’t matter what we call a girl “hoodlum” in this case. The book is for parenting sons. It is also written for parents of “black boys.” The first sentence is “We are losing our black boys.” So, if this is in a library with a substantial black (just using the author’s terminology here) patronage, it should stay. What is the racial makeup of your particular library? I did an internship in a juvenile hall library and the majority of the “hoodlums” there were unfortunately black. The librarian tried to order books featuring black protagonists, by black authors, so the kids could relate to them better. Libraries should reflect the demographics of the uses, the neighborhood.

    The word “hoodlums?” It is still used. My 16 year old son uses it! Does it count against general use though, knowing that he is home schooled?

  8. What an unfortunate scroll-down. It’s a cute picture, so a reader might expect a title like “Reading with Your Kids” or “The Father-Son Bond.” Instead….hoodlums? It’s an awkwardly worded titled as well. Poor choice on the publishing company’s part!

  9. I would be interested to know if the content was any good, beyond the uncertain title and cover.

  10. Calm down, folks! The authors are African-American and that’s the primary audience they’re addressing, so there’s no racist intent with the cover photo; in fact, I think it’s a picture of one of the authors.

  11. I agree with Lisa B’s point that the juxtaposition of title and photo imply that dressing neatly, holding your child, and reading to him may be producing … a hoodlum! I don’t know about the weedability, but the cover design is unfortunate.

  12. Lisa, if the library was getting kids that some would call ‘hoodlums’ to go to a library it sounds like the library was doing a good job. Or perhaps they were good kids trying to get an education or find a good book to read that just happened to dress in the same way as a stereotypical ‘hoodlum’?

  13. I love the word hoodlum! I use it a lot, especially when we’re driving around and the dogs start to growl or bark at someone.

  14. @Hilary–We prefer “youth gang”. My son will see a bunch of ‘hoodlums’ and point them out as “sullen teenagers”.

    I love shaping the next generation.

  15. Let’s clarify….they will be young, black, LITERATE hoodlums! “And these are the Jets! Can you say ‘Jets?” And these are the Sharks!…”

  16. Count my husband, friends and I as using old fashioned terms in a joking manner. Althought we don’t hoodlum as much a friend of mine started our whole deal by using the word houligan and it escalated from there. Another term we love to throw around is debauchery. My house is a house of debauchery!

  17. Does nobody else get that the cover is showing that bonding with your child over a book is a good way to prevent him from *becoming* a hoodlum?

Comments are closed.