Listen to the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence This Fourth of July #WeThePeopleListen


Penguin Random House Audio Urges Americans to Listen to the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence This Fourth of July

The publisher will offer a free audio stream of both founding documents June 27‒July 31

NEW YORK, NY (June 23, 2017) – We can all agree that the Fourth of July is America’s most patriotic holiday, but how much do we really know about what we’re celebrating? Recent surveys indicate that most Americans lack basic civics knowledge—only 25% of U.S. adults can name all three branches of government, and more than 30% are unable to name even a single branch. This is a significant decline over previous years, according to a survey by the Annenberg Public Policy Center.

The common foundation laid out in the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence is precisely what unites us as Americans.In this divisive political climate, where debates about checks and balances saturate our daily news cycle, it is crucial that we all understand for ourselves how our government works.

To encourage all Americans to read and appreciate our founding documents, Penguin Random House Audio is joining with award-winning authors and like-minded partner organizations, including PEN America and the National Coalition Against Censorship, to stream audio recordings of both the U.S. Constitution, narrated by Boyd Gaines, and the Declaration of Independence, narrated by Frank Langella, under the banner “We the People Listen.”

On Tuesday June 27, numerous partner organizations and bestselling authors will support this inclusive campaign by sharing a link to the audio stream, using #WeThePeopleListen.

“For many of us, it’s been years, if at all, since we’ve read the Constitution or the Declaration,” says Amanda D’Acierno, SVP and Publisher, Penguin Random House Audio. “Taking a little time this early summer to listen to these talented narrators bring the text alive is something we all need to do as we celebrate Independence Day this year.”

Listeners can stream the recording of both the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence until July 31

About the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…

Drafted by Thomas Jefferson in 1776 as an act of rebellion, the Declaration of Independence powerfully expresses the political principles of an emerging nation. As justification for severing ties with England, the Declaration of Independence presented a list of grievances against the King and declared the colonies to be sovereign states.

About the U.S. Constitution:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.…

Ratified in 1788, the U.S. Constitution remains a shining example of patriotism and compromise. In outlining the power of the three branches of government and establishing the rights of all Americans, the Constitution united the thirteen independent states and set forth the official viewpoint of a newly unified nation. Its most significant and insightful feature is that it can always be amended.

About Penguin Random House Audio:

As the premier publisher in the audiobook industry, Penguin Random House Audio is dedicated to producing top-quality fiction and nonfiction audiobooks written and read by the best in the business, including books by bestselling authors John Grisham, Dan Brown, Janet Evanovich, Kathryn Stockett, Khaled Hosseini, J.K. Rowling, and Rick Riordan, as well as Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Our audiobooks have won 14 Grammy® Awards, 74 Audie® Awards, and 17 Odyssey Awards and Honors. Random House Audio, and its sister imprints Penguin Audio, Listening Library and Books on Tape, are a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company.

Blog Tour and Review!: One Word from Sophia by Jim Averbeck and Yasmeen Ismail


One Word from Sophia

One Word from Sophia
Author: Jim Averbeck
Illustrator: Yasmeen Ismail
Published June 16th, 2015 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Goodreads Summary: Sophia tries varied techniques to get the giraffe she wants more than anything in this playfully illustrated story about the nuances of negotiation.

Sophia has one true desire for her birthday. But she has Four Big Problems in the way: Mom, Dad, Uncle Conrad…and Grand-mama.

Will her presentations, proposals, and pie charts convince them otherwise?

Turns out, all it takes is one word.

Ricki’s Review: As teachers, we are always asking students to expand their ideas and add detail. To be perfectly honest, I never taught brevity, and this is reflected in my constant battle to stay under word counts! This text will open up valuable conversations about how we can use a variety of methods to persuade our audience. Sometimes, being direct and brief is the best route. It might be confusing to kids who constantly hear the opposite, so I would work with students to analyze this text. I loved the way the author integrated great vocabulary words. Along with those words (which he defined), there are other great words for students to grapple with. I would read this text with my students to help them with the language. I had a lot of fun reading this text, and I think kids will love it, too.

Kellee’s Review: This is a book that adults will find funny and kids will connect with because they all want something. I enjoyed the introduction to the cast of characters and how Sophia changed her speech depending on who she was speaking to. It shows the importance of audience when speaking or writing. I also loved the way that each character had a very set personality which was showed in their behaviors, words, and looks.

I really love the artwork of One Word. The crazy lines and paints mixed with pencil really add character to the book. I liked the facial expressions, as well. This really added to the characterization within the book.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: Teachers might consider using this book to introduce a persuasive writing book or to teach a lesson about audience. The students can discuss the different ways they might persuade their audience and how they have to consider what is and isn’t appropriate for the task.

Discussion Questions: Why must we always consider our audience when we write? In what ways does Sophia try to persuade her audience? What works in the end, and why?; Which method would have worked best to persuade you?


Blog Tour Stops:
10/19/2015 – Jen at Teach Mentor Texts
10/20/2015 – Jennifer at Reederama
10/21/2015 – Franki and Mary Lee at Two Reading Teachers
10/22/2015 – Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers
10/23/2015 – Crystal at Reading Through Life
10/24/2015 – Alyson at Kid Lit Frenzy
Jim Averbeck’s Website:
Jim Averbeck on Twitter:
Yasmeen Ismail’s Website:
Yasmeen Ismail on Twitter:
Simon and Schuster: One Word From Sophia
Simon and Schuster Kids on Twitter:

Read This If You Loved: I Wanna Iguanna by Karen Kaufman Orloff, Richard Scarry’s Please and Thank You Book by Richard Scarry, Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin

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**Thank you to Jen Vincent for hosting the blog tour and to Atheneum Books for providing copies for review!**

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