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.

Top Ten Tuesday: Audiobooks We Love


top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. The feature was created because The Broke and Bookish are particularly fond of lists (as are we!). Each week a new Top Ten list topic is given and bloggers can participate.

 Today’s Topic: Ten Audiobooks We Love


I am very picky about my audiobooks. In fact, I think I could recommend more books that don’t work well on audio than ones that do. That said, there is something remarkable about a book that works well as an audiobook. Often I think I’d prefer the audio over the print version for these texts. Below are five texts that made my ears sing. I’d recommend each of them highly.

1. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

I'll Give You the Sun

I can’t say enough good things about this book. I can’t stop including it on my lists! I simply loved the audio and highly recommend it to anyone who wants a really great listen.

2. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

me before you

This is the first adult book that I enjoyed on audio. The reader is fantastic. I was crying in my car while sitting in my garage through half of the book.

3. Knockout Games by G. Neri

knockout games

When I think about this book, I remember physically cringing as I listened to several sections. The audio is fast paced, and I liked the narrator a lot.

4. All American Boys by Brendan Kiely

All American Boys

Both narrators are absolutely fantastic. I am so glad that I listened to this book. I wish I could relive it and listen to it for the very first time again.

5. East of Eden by John Steinbeck

east of eden

This book is slower paced than the others listed above. It is a classic I always wanted to read. It took me several months to get through it (23 discs, I believe), but it was well worth it. East of Eden is quite an epic, and I recommend it highly.


These audiobooks are the trifecta: great production, wonderful narrator(s), and an amazing story! You’ll also notice that they are all series because I couldn’t stop listening to them!

1. Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

harry potter series

Jim Dale is a brilliant narrator. I read the Harry Potter books first, but before book #7 came out, I wanted to reread, and I decided to listen. Man, am I glad I did! The only issue is that now I can’t listen to Jim Dale read anything else because all I hear is Harry.

2. Matt Cruse Series by Kenneth Oppel

matt cruse

This series is epic, and I think the full cast production of it really brings it to life! If you like unique ideas with epic plot twists and well-developed characters, you shouldn’t miss this series!

3. Curse Workers series by Holly Black

curse workers series

I loved Jesse Eisenberg’s production of this series. His voice was perfect for the tone and mood of the novels and Cassel’s personality. Another book with a very unique concept and strong characters!

4. The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates series by Caroline Carlson

very nearly honorable league

You all know I love this series because as I was listening to it, I couldn’t stop raving about it! Katherine Kellgren is brilliant! She does amazing voices and just brings the book to life!

5. Nate series by Tim Federle

nate federle

These books are narrated by the author, and I don’t think they would have been as good any other way. Because Nate is from Tim’s imagination, Tim’s voice just perfectly fits the story.

Which audiobooks did you love?

RickiSig and Signature

Grimm’s Fairy Tales by the Brothers Grimm, Audio Book Collection by Listening Library


Grimm's Fairy Tales

Grimm’s Fairy Tales
Author: The Brothers Grimm;
Narrators: Award Winning Cast (Various)
Published: May 10, 2016 by Listening Library

Goodreads Summary: Read by a cast of award-winning narrators, this collection contains some of the most timeless and enchanting folk and fairy tales collected by the Brothers Grimm.

The Brothers Grimm collected the original fairy tales that Americans are most familiar with today. Lyrically translated and beautifully narrated by an all-star cast, these 21 tales are selected from The Complete Grimm’s Fairy Tales and presented just as Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm originally set them down: bold, primal, just frightening enough, and endlessly engaging.

Stories include:
Rapunzel, read by Katherine Kellgren
Cinderella, read by January LaVoy
Little Red-Cap, read by Simon Vance
Little Briar-Rose, read by Grover Gardner
Little Snow-White, read by Kate Rudd
Rumpelstiltskin, read by Jim Dale
The Shoes That Were Danced to Pieces, read by Alfred Molina
A Riddling Tale, read by Janis Ian
The Twelve Brothers, read by Graeme Malcolm
The White Snake, read by Scott Brick
The Elves, read by Bahni Turpin
The Six Swans, read by Davina Porter
The Twelve Huntsmen, read by Dion Graham
The Goose-Girl, read by Edoardo Ballerini
Sweet Porridge, read by Jayne Entwistle
The Golden Goose, read by Luke Daniels
Eve’s Various Children, read by Roy Dotrice
Snow-White and Rose-Red, read by Julia Whelan
The Frog-King, or Iron Henry, read by Kirby Heyborne
The Sea-Hare, read by Mark Bramhall
Hansel and Gretel, read by Robin Miles

Ricki’s Review: I particularly loved the variety in this collection. The narrators provide their own personal touches to each fairy tale, and I found every story to be captivating. The audio format enhances the ways the stories are told. The collection contains the more popular fairy tales along with the more lesser known, and I loved listening to the stories that I had never read before. Grimm’s Fairy Tales are a staple of my childhood, and I feel lucky to share these stories with my son. I think he will really enjoy the audio form, and I hope to play them in long car rides. It will be great to stop after each fairy tale to discuss the characters and themes. I will wait until he is a bit older because the fairy tales are a bit more gruesome than the popular renditions. I appreciate the fact that Listening Library didn’t go with the typical, clean, popularized versions of the stories. It gives readers a stronger sense of the true, original works.

Kellee’s Review: I really enjoy fairy tales of all kinds and have read Grimms collections of various types over the years, but this collection is the first time that I found myself completely enthralled in the stories even though I already knew them like they were new to me. The narrators that Listening Library chose are the best in the business. I can’t even pick a favorite because they all make each story shine.  

While listening, I found so many opportunities to have discussions. From theme to similarities/differences to changes in popular versions to repetition within and through tales. I think these stories will make wonderful read alouds within my house or in my classroom.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: This collection provides excellent opportunities for teachers to ask students to compare and contrast elements across the fairy tales. The could listen to a different story each day (they are brief enough that this would be a great listen-aloud). Alternatively, it might be neat to have students work in groups, select stories of their choice, and share out what they learned. Then the entire class could discuss what they are hearing across stories. It would also be fun to discuss the lesser known fairy tales and why these tales may not have become as popular as the others. Lastly, students might discuss the cleansing of the works of The Brothers Grimm. Robin Kirk’s article “Painted on the Surface: The Marbury Lens and Gore in Young Adult Fiction” in the Fall 2015 issue of The ALAN Review is a great resources for teachers to consider gore in fiction, and it discusses the cleansing of The Brothers Grimm’s Fairy Tales.

Discussion Questions: Which fairy tales did you find most captivating? Why?; Which common themes across any of the fairy tales? Which themes seem to be unique to specific fairy tales?; Some of these fairy tales are more popular than others. Why do you think that is? Do you wish any of the lesser known fairy tales were more popular?

Book Trailer:

Read This If You Loved: Grimm’s Fairy Tales by The Brothers Grimm, Fairy Tale Comics by Chris Duffy, Any Fairy Tales

Recommended For: 

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RickiSigand Kellee Signature

**Thank you to Katie at Penguin Random House for providing copies for review!**