In 2016, an old schoolhouse in Virginia that was once used for teaching black students during the era of segregation was sprayed with offensive graffiti. From the moment Prosecutor and Deputy Commonwealth Attorney Alejandra Rueda heard about the racist and anti-Semitic graffiti scrawled across the schoolhouse in Ashburn, Loudoun County, Virginia, she suspected the culprits were children. Her intuition proved correct. Five children aged 16 and 17 were arrested for the crime and pleaded guilty to one count of destruction of private property and one count of unlawful entry. Their punishment? For an entire year, the offender had to read one book out of a list of 35 books each month and write an assignment on each of the 12 books they chose. The titles included Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, My Name Is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, Cry The Beloved Country by Alan Paton and Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner. Some members of the black community wrote letters arguing that the sentencing was too lenient, but the judge argued that writing 12 assignments and a 3,500-word essay on racial hatred and symbols in the context of what they’d done would be much more transformational than placing the culprits on probation. Turns out, the Judge was right; all five of the teenagers successfully completed their readings and assignments—and none has reoffended in the years that have followed.