An unlicensed Detroit-area teenage driver involved in a fatal hit-and-run crash that killed a woman was ordered yesterday to read three books a month, beginning with “The Catcher in the Rye” — one of his victim’s favorite novels, the Detroit News reports. Oakland Circuit Judge James Alexander lamented he could hold the 15-year-old in a juvenile facility only until he is 19.
Alexander was moved by the victim’s daughters’ tearful recollections in court of the life lessons she taught them, including a love for reading. One daughter broke down recalling that her mother shared books, including “The Catcher in the Rye,” with her when she was in seventh grade. Alexander described the boy sitting in belly chains and jail blues before him as not unlike the troubled, self-destructive teenager in J.D. Salinger’s classic. “What you have done is no different than if you took a gun and shot someone,” Alexander said. “You are going to read three books a month, starting with ‘Catcher in the Rye’  you could be Holden Caulfield. You’ve got a lot to learn about responsibility and about yourself.”