Vandal Teenagers Ordered to Read Books Themed Around Racism

By February 9, 2017News, Reading Habits

And the 35 Books He Handed Down in Sentencing

An unusual but thoughtful punishment has been sentenced to a group of five teenagers who were found guilty of vandalizing a historic African American schoolhouse with racist, antisemitic, and obscene graffiti. A judge in Virginia has ordered the offenders to read 35 books and watch 14 films that are themed around racism. They have also been told to visit two museums and then write a paper in order to encourage “a greater appreciation for gender, race, religion, and bigotry.”

As The Guardian reports, the judge, county prosecutor Alex Rueda explained her sentence by describing the offenders as “dumb teenagers”. “None of the boys had any prior record.” she said. “They had never been in trouble. And it was obvious that this was not racially motivated. It was more of them being stupid and not understanding the seriousness of what they had done.”

The daughter of a librarian, judge Rueda stated she hopes her punishment will educate the offenders about the seriousness of their crimes and also help the community as a whole. The school the teens vandalized was originally opened in 1892 and provided black children with an education following the end of the Civil War. The teenagers had drawn swastikas, sexually explicit images, and dinosaurs upon the school walls along with the words “white power” and “brown power”.

In order to ensure the boys complete their sentence, they must hand in either a book review or film review every month and hand in a paper about the history and message of the swastika and white power symbols. They must also visit the Holocaust museum and the American history museum, where there is an exhibition about the internment of Japanese Americans during the second world war.

“Hopefully, what they get out of this year is a greater appreciation for gender, race, religion, bigotry. And then when they go out in to the world, they are teachers,” said judge Rueda.

The complete list of books the teens have been ordered to read are as follows:

The Color Purple

US
UK

Native Son

US
UK

Exodus

US
UK

Mitla Pass

US
UK

Trinity

US
UK

My Name is Asher Lev

US
UK

The Chosen

US
UK

The Sun Also Rises

US
UK

Night

US
UK

The Crucible

US
UK

Things Fall Apart

US
UK

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Slacks

US
UK

Caleb’s Crossing

US
UK



The Tortilla Curtain

US
UK

The Bluest Eye

US
UK

A Hope in the Unseen

US
UK

Down These Mean Streets

US
UK

Black Boy

US
UK

The Beautiful Struggle

US
UK

Eichmann in Jerusalem

US
UK

The Underground Railroad

US
UK

Reading Lolita in Tehran

US
UK

The Rape of Nanking

US
UK

Infidel

US
UK

The Orphan Master’s Son

US
UK

Cry the Beloved Country

US
UK

Too Late the Phalarope

US
UK

A Dry White Season

US
UK

Ghost Soldiers

US
UK

And if like us you think that makes a fantastic reading list, here’s a copy/paste printable version:

The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Native Son by Richard Wright
Exodus by Leon Uris
Mitla 18 by Leon Uris
Trinity by Leon Uris
My Name Is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
The Chosen by Chaim Potok
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
Night by Elie Wiesel
The Crucible by Arthur Miller
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Things Falls Apart by Chinua Achebe
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks
Tortilla Curtain by TC Boyle
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
A Hope in the Unseen by Ron Suskind
Down These Mean Streets by Piri Thomas
Black Boy by Richard Wright
The Beautiful Struggle by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Eichmann in Jerusalem by Hannah Arendt
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang
Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
Too Late the Phalarope by Alan Paton
A Dry White Season by Andre Brink
Ghost Soldiers by Hampton Sides



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