Newark Public Schools Announces High School-Wide Listen of Trevor Noah’s Audible Book, Born a Crime

    NEWARK, N.J.-Newark Public Schools and Audible, Inc., the world’s largest seller and producer of digital spoken-word entertainment, today announced that all Newark Public Schools high school students have listened to The Daily Show host Trevor Noah’s critically acclaimed performance of his poignant memoir, Born a Crime, as a collective student body during the month of May. This unique city-wide listening experience, the idea of East Side High School Vice Principal Meg Murray, is borne out of “Project Listen Up,” through which all Newark high school students and their teachers received a year of Audible membership beginning last fall. Conceived as part of the company’s celebration of the impact Newark students have had on its culture, the mission of “Project Listen Up” is to unleash the educational power of Audible to students across the city.

    “Performing my Audible book was an emotional and rewarding experience, and I’m so gratified to see it inspiring meaningful conversations among students and teachers about their own histories and convictions.”

    Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood is a coming-of-age story that recounts Noah’s experiences during the twilight of apartheid in South Africa and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed, including powerfully funny observations about how farcical political and social systems play out in our lives. Born a Crime was Audible’s highest-rated title in 2016, the year it was released, and Audible’s most commented-on title of 2017. Trevor’s performance in this production is both an Audible and New York Times bestseller, and remains one of the top-selling Audible performances of all time.

    “The city-wide Common Listen of Born a Crime is designed to both foster a sense of community and to challenge all students with a shared fun and intellectually engaging experience,” said Robert Gregory, Interim Superintendent of Newark Public Schools. “We are thrilled that Born a Crime, with its trenchant insights about race, class and the effects of apartheid, and its brilliant narration, is available to all Newark students through Project Listen Up. Our students are also forging their identities at a time of great change and we are hoping everyone, even teachers, can find something to relate to in Trevor Noah’s powerful story and voice.”

    “I’m blown away by this amazing initiative that Audible and the city of Newark have put together, and I’m humbled that they have selected my story for this city-wide school listening club,” said Noah. “Performing my Audible book was an emotional and rewarding experience, and I’m so gratified to see it inspiring meaningful conversations among students and teachers about their own histories and convictions.”

    “Audible is a better company and a better place to work because of our decision to move to Newark a decade ago and include so many Newark high school and college students and Newark-born and educated people as our paid interns and employees, and that is the impetus behind Project Listen Up,” said Audible founder and CEO Don Katz. “I am thrilled that Trevor’s amazing performance of Born a Crime will now become a meaningful and memorable part of the educational experience for all Newark students.”

    The “Project Listen Up” initiative kicked off in November at Technology High School and was rolled out city-wide in subsequent months. Audible integration into school curriculum as a supplemental education tool continues to evolve. The program includes 12 credits to download and own any of the 425,000+ titles in Audible’s unparalleled library of digital audiobooks as well as a free bundle of 150+ “recommended reading” titles identified by Newark educators and Audible experts. Students and teachers will keep the content, tablets, and headphones even after their free membership ends.

    Praise for Born a Crime:

    “Hearing Noah’s reading makes the story even more personable.” – The AV Club

    “The author’s gift for vocal impersonation elevates the audio version into something even more splendid than an already terrific memoir.” – The Washington Post

    “This book is powerfully funny on the page – but it really comes to life when read by its hilarious author.” – Bustle

    For more information on Audible’s “Project Listen Up,” please visit

    About Audible, Inc.

    Audible, Inc., an, Inc. subsidiary (NASDAQ:AMZN), is the leading provider of premium digital spoken audio information and entertainment, offering customers a new way to enhance and enrich their lives every day. Audible was created to unleash the emotive music in language and the habituating power and utility of verbal expression. Audible content includes more than 425,000 audio programs from leading audiobook publishers, broadcasters, entertainers, magazine and newspaper publishers, and business information providers. Audible is also the provider of spoken-word audio products for Apple’s iTunes Store.

    Esther Bochner