Rush Limbaugh has won the 2014 Children’s Choice Book Award. The voting was conducted by mostly children who chose his historical novel: Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims. His children’s book surpassed competitors such as Rick Riordan. Veronica Roth, and Jeffrey Kinney.
Upon the release of his historical novel about a substitute teacher named Rush Revere and his talking time traveling horse, Liberty in November 2013, the conservative radio commentator landed on the top of the Amazon best seller list. Despite limited mainstream coverage by the media, Limbaugh’s radio listeners that number up to 35 million ordered the book.
The nominees for best author were first determined by the number of books sold. Children then voted for the finalist online.
Robin Adelson, the executive director of Every Child A Reader and the Children’s Book Council, began the Children’s Choice Book Award seven years ago. She acknowledged Thursday that adults could vote multiple times. The problem has not been an uncommon occurrence for other internet competitions.
She admitted that all of the finalists receive multiple votes every year. She attributed the extra voting by enthusiastic adults with a love of children’s books.
There were three ways people could cast votes for best author. The first was through a popular children’s website called www.poptropica.com. Second was the http://ccbookawards.com. Third was a link reserved for librarians and teachers to submit votes on behalf of their students.
Adelson doubts too many conservative followers of the Rush Limbaugh Radio program went to poptropica.com to cast more votes for his Rush Revere book. Such voters would have to have multiple emails that could be verified. Bulk voters such as teachers and librarians must submit verifiable votes that demonstrate the educators have expressed the wishes of their students.
Adelson and her nonprofit staff make phone calls and send emails to confirm the votes. Much of their time during the voting season focuses on verifying the bulk voters. Are all of them caught? Andelson admits multiple votes by the same person do get past her organization.
When the finalists for the 2014 Children’s Book Awards were announced in March, Limbaugh told his audience he was a finalist on his nationally syndicated radio program. Limbaugh enjoyed an early lead, but the voting tightened in the final weeks. Adelson called the outcome close, yet fair. No numbers on the final votes were revealed.
In his acceptance speech, Limbaugh said winning the 2014 Children’s Choice Award for author of the year was unexpected, but a thrill. He thanked all the children who read his historical novel about Rush Revere and his time traveling horse Liberty.
His inspiration came from the late author Vince Flynn who encouraged Limbaugh to write another book. Limbaugh had already written two books on conservative politics in the 1990’s and was not sure what he wanted to write next. Limbaugh’s wife, Catherine encouraged him to write something about history. He had always had a passion for history and wanted to create a historical novel for children that focused on important events in American history.
Limbaugh stated how he loved America and its past. He wanted to ensure there were books that casted that history in a better light. He wanted to share that story with young people so they too could learn and appreciate the country they would one day inherit and lead.
He concluded his acceptance speech by thanking his hosts for having the award. Limbaugh also thanked the finalists in the competition and the children who voted in every category. He was honored and humble to be a small little part of it all.
His story is based off the voyage of the Pilgrims from Holland and their time at Plymouth to the first Thanksgiving. The time traveling horse, Liberty has the ability to bring Rush Revere, a substitute teacher at Manchester Middle School, and two students Tom and Freedom, to historical events in American history. After visiting the Pilgrims in Holland and aboard ship, the time travelers visit Plymouth colony to see how the Pilgrims tried and failed with an experiment in socialism. Limbaugh’s fictional characters interact with historical ones such as William Bradford making the story more personalized to the reader.
Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims is the first book of the series. The second book, Rush Revere and the First Patriots, explore events leading up to the Boston Tea Party. With Limbaugh’s fan base, along with a good story concept, Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims has made him the winner of the 2014 Children’s Choice Book Award.
By Brian T. Yates
2014 Children’s Choice Book Awards