the best friends you’ll never have

In the early 90s I remember that gang violence was really in the forefront on the national scene. Television shows such as Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper addressed these issues with Very Special Episodes that involved tragic shootings and deaths which, quite frankly, shared the shit out of me.

In an attempt to stay relevant to the world around them, the team behind BSC did a Very Special Book about gangs. It was a Special Edition Reader’s Request, to be more precise. That’s right everyone: Logan Bruno, Boy Baby-Sitter. In the BSC version, however, there were no warring factions wearing colors and getting special tattoos. Instead, the gang members in question wear matching leather jackets and calls themselves The Badd Boyz. Yes, with a “z” and two “d”s. They do things like steal. And eat pizza in the parking lot.

Apart from the late 80s/early 90s mainstream hip-hop group-style spelling of their names, the Badd Boyz make me think of more 1950s/1960s street gangs (junior versions of the gangs inWest Side Story, Rebel Without a Cause, Grease) than the kind of gang with which I was familar. I know that Ann has a habit of regressing back into her childhood (*cough*i love lucy obsession*cough*) but seriously? This is what Ann comes up with when they decide they need to address gang violence?

Do you think that the Badd Boyz were even an attempt to bring to light some issues of the day in a way that would be less disturbing to young readers? Or was it just the male version of Stacey’s Bad Girl arc? Or did someone in the Scholastic art department draw that rat note and thought it was really neat, so they built up an entire book around it?


Very Special Thanks to Penny for scanning this!

8 Responses To This Post

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Penny said, November 19th, 2007 at 11:13 pm

I uploaded that picture to the BSC Wiki, now it just needs to be formated into the page. You know, in case anyone wants to look at it, if they managed to forget what it looks like.

I would not have been surprised if the Badd Boyz had busted out into a song and dance number at anytime during that book. I went to a private school in Michigan in the mid 90s, and the one gang that hung around wasn’t exactly hardcore, but they were much more dangerous then leather jackets and pizza. But perhaps Logan Bruno, Boy Baby-Sitter was a way for Scholastic to reach the kids before they turned to gangs. Show them how bad it is, and the inner turmoil that occurs when someone uses stolen Nicky Cash tickets.

There was also really bad Special Episodes on Family Matters and Step by Step.

greer said, November 19th, 2007 at 11:23 pm

@penny: omg, i was gonna ask if anyone had scanned it so i could put it in the entry… i hope you don’t mind that i yoinked it and uploaded it to the blog :)

Penny said, November 19th, 2007 at 11:54 pm

Oh, I so don’t care. That’s why I scan these things in – for enjoyment. It’s weird, I just posted it there yesterday — great timing on your article. ;)

Lou said, November 20th, 2007 at 1:25 pm

I don’t even get that note. It’s not even smart! lol *so lost*
I think they had to keep the BSC clean, so made this tidy little gang that stole tickets (btw, is Nicky Cash any relation to Johnny? lol)

But yeah, gangs around here are considerably rougher than that, even at 13.

heavenly said, November 20th, 2007 at 9:38 pm

oh my gosh, i was so freaked out by that “threatening” note when i read the book! but yes, the badd boyz were l-a-m-e.

myu said, November 22nd, 2007 at 9:21 am

Can anyone clear up the context of the note? Upon closer examination I see that the lady mouse has MAS tattooed on her chest (and not PMS as I thought at first). Are they planning to lynch Mary Anne while Logan’s in a ‘run with a manic grin’ race?

charmecia said, March 7th, 2010 at 4:29 pm

damn that is one bad note

» 30 Day BSC Challenge, Day 28: Favorite BSC “Villain” Stoneybrookite: the best friends you’ll never have said, January 15th, 2012 at 7:58 am

[...] Both of them are just hilarious to me. SMS’s very own GANG, who have matching leather jackets and send threatening notes to Logan? Comedy gold! I wrote about my love for them here. [...]

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