April 24, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Rush Limbaugh—Children’s Choice Book Author of the Year?


Limbaugh’s nominated book has been on the NYT bestsellers list for the past 20 weeks.

Right-winger Rush Limbaugh is better known for his political grandstanding and extremely popular talk-radio show “The Rush Limbaugh Show.” But Limbaugh—along with authors Rick Riordan of the “Percy Jackson” series (Puffin), Veronica Roth of the “Divergent” series (HarperCollins), and Rachel Renee Russell of the “Dork Diaries” series (S&S)—are all amongst this year’s finalists for Author of the Year in the Children’s and Teen’s Choice Book Awards (CCBA), where the winning titles are selected by children and teens.

A complete list of this year’s finalists can be found here.

The politico’s inclusion in the CCBA’s Best Author of the Year category surprised many—and sparked outrage. (Like the outrage expressed in a March 22 Huffington Post article entitled “We Live In A World Where Rush Limbaugh Might Win A Children’s Book Award.”) The CBC moved to quell the reaction of Limbaugh’s inclusion by emphasizing, “Ultimately, kids and teens will decide who wins.”

But, according to the CCBA, the criteria the organization has used in the past seven years of its existence for its finalist selections is based on the titles’s “performances on the bestseller lists.” Limbaugh’s Rush Revere and The Brave Pilgrims: Time Travel Adventures with Exceptional Americans (S&S, 2013) has been on the New York Times bestseller list for the past 20 weeks.

“I am completely honored and thrilled to be nominated,” Limbaugh told School Library Journal. “This adventure series is a labor of love, written for younger generations with the hope that they learn more about the history of this amazing country in a fun and positive way.”

The award program was created in 2008 by the Children’s Book Council  (CBC) and Every Child a Reader (ECAR), a foundation dedicated toward creating a love of reading in children administered by the CBC. The CCBA winners are selected by children and teens who vote online in each of the six categories: Author of the Year, Illustrator of the Year, Kindergarten to Second Grade Book of the Year, Third to Fourth Grade Book of the Year, Fifth to Sixth Grade Book of the Year, and Teen Book of the Year.

Last year over one million votes were cast.

Of the 30 books nominated, there are many names that are familiar to the lovers of children’s books. Jeff Kinney has been a finalist in the Author of the Year category every year since the award’s inception, and he won in both 2012 and 2013. Ellen Hopkins is also no stranger to the award, having been previously nominated. This year, she was nominated for Smoke (S&S, 2013) a sequel to Burned (S&S, 2006), a sequel she never planned to write.

“My readers convinced me I really needed to, and that makes this mean even more,” says Hopkins. “Not only were they right, but they love the way the story now ends.”

First-time finalist, Sergio Ruzzier, was flabbergasted when he learned of the selection of his work Bear and Bee (Disney, 2013) in the Kindergarten to Second Grade category.

“I feel I’ve already won a wonderful award, with my book being chosen directly by the children as one of their favorite five of the year.”

(The finalists in the graded categories are selected by preliminary voting by children conducted by the International Reading Association.)

Ruzzier hopes that this means that kids liked Bear and Bee, and the way the two become friends after a dramatic—and ridiculous—start. Voting for the CCBA starts Tuesday, March 25 and ends Monday, May 12 at ccbookawards.com.


Rocco Staino About Rocco Staino

Rocco Staino @RoccoA is the retired director of the Keefe Library of the North Salem School District in New York. He is now a contributing editor for School Library Journal and also writes for the Huffington Post.

Empowering Teens: Fostering the Next Generation of Advocates
Teens want to make a difference and become advocates for the things they care about. Librarians working with young people are in a unique position to help them make an impact on their communities and schools. Ignite your thinking and fuel these efforts at your library through this Library Journal online course—April 24 & May 8.


  1. RE: LIMBAUGH: SIMPLY NO COMMENT since I want to follow your Comment Policy! One aside:
    Whatever happened the Children’s Book Council?

    • Political grandstanding, he’s NOT, issues are, ergo the book. Read it to understand.

  2. Karen Stern says:

    With so many amazing kids books this year it is outrageous that this junky, badly written promotional piece even was considered.

  3. Barbara Ashby says:

    I was horrified when I read that Rush Limbaugh is a finalist for Author of the Year for the CCBA! How can anyone appear to condone this man’s fear and hate mongering. He has no regard for anyone but himself and is in no way a role model for children and teens. His nomination is truely frightening!

    • You read SLJ and yet you support book censorship? Weird.

      Also, I bet Rush can spell “truly” correctly.

      • Barbara Ashby says:

        I apologize for misspelling “truly” and no I do not support censorship but there is such a thing as selection criteria. Rush Limbaugh is a foul mouthed and bigoted individual no matter what your political leanings are and I still don’t believe he makes a good role model for anyone!

        • The book met the selection criteria. Saying this book should be excluded because you don’t like the author’s ideas is endorsing censorship.

    • Obviously you have not READ the book. It is a delight and kids love it.
      Take you private prejudices and sit on them. Dunderheads

  4. KM Perry says:

    I have read Rush Limbaugh’s book. I declined to review it for our local newspaper. Enough said.
    Can’t see him winning over Jeff Kinney (Diary of a Wimpy Kid) unless the the children are not the ones voting. However, you should know that the website for voting appears to be wide-open, despite assurances that Children’s Book Council and Every Child a Reader will monitor for miss-use. I suspect librarians will need to be more involved in promoting the child reader votes than they have in the past just to counteract the adult votes.

    • Chico Rodriquez says:

      If you really read the book, and you know as much as you say, why didn’t you review it? I don’t know why you’d think it wouldn’t win, except that you’re bigoted against someone. Kind of the same way, I’m sure, the Klan didn’t get why anyone would want to read To Kill a Mockingbird. So sad that in 2014, there are still closed-minded people like you out there.

  5. Laura Harrison says:

    I work in a very busy NY bookstore. I can tell you the children are not running in to purchase this title. It is grandparents, aunts, uncles…all fans of Rush Limbaugh. They are the ones who are excited about this book and have made it a best-seller.

    • I think a lot of titles get to children through adults in their lives. It doesn’t mean that the kids don’t love them or that they aren’t good books.

  6. Rush Limbaugh? You’ve got to be kidding. If the nominees’ are chosen only because they have landed on the bestseller lists, then the Council needs to change the criteria. Whatever happened to good literature?

  7. If there were no complaints about the selection process previous to this, then definitely censorship is at work…which would demonstrate that the commitment to “diversity” on the part of these librarians is quite shallow, extending only to those who opinions, perspectives, and lifestyles they agree with. Given how eager so many sound on this board are to censor this title (or assure that like titles are not considered in the future “change the criteria”), it makes me highly suspicious of any future complaints about censorship coming from SLJ readership. Who’s to say that censorship isn’t just standing up for good literature? Physician, heal thyself.

  8. Beverly Wrigglesworth says:

    I am amused by the outrage expressed by the left-wing posters about Limbaugh’s being a finalist in the best author category. I agree with Cynthia, this reaction is censorship, pure and simple. I do not remember any similar outrage in 2013, when Obama’s picture book was a finalist in one of the categories. Those who exhibited outrage at his nomination are very poorly informed about Mr. Limbaugh and have obviously never listened to his radio program. He most certainly is not foul-mouthed, nor is he bigoted. And those who do listen to his radio show know that he is not fearful, nor does he engage in “hate-mongering.” He simply gives a conservative opinion on current events, thus providing an alternative news source for those share his political philosophies.

  9. The only reason he got on was because it met the requirement of being on the bestseller list and he himself bought over 15,000 copies ostensibly to give away and then hawked it to his “followers” And to title it Rush Rever—so egotistical—
    it’s really shameful that this won. Author of the year should be more than sales and votes. really disgusting

    • Hi Anita, by chance did you happen to read the book?

      Yip…that’s what I thought.

  10. Listen to Rush for 1 week, relax and laugh, then you, that have written the hate filled comments here, will blush and feel foolish.

  11. Congratulations, Rush Limbaugh for winning the Author of the Year category! My 3 nephews have BOTH of Rush’s history books and LOVE them! I am a 34 yr veteran teacher and can verify that Mr. Limbaugh’s books are educational and creative – they hold the attention of the reader and are beautifully presented. Those of you who are writing negative comments above have never listened to Mr. Limbaugh’s radio show, never read the transcripts of his show, nor read his written work. I’m finding the Left to be terribly INTOLERANT and HATEFUL towards others who are not thinking just like them – after all, isn’t the Left who comes up with all of the “WAR on …..” concepts? Well, even the kids are telling the Left: YOU”RE WRONG ABOUT RUSH!

  12. Josh First says:

    The hate-filled, bigoted comments about author Rush Limbaugh say everything about the commenters and zero about Limbaugh. Hate-monger, fear – monger, bigot…? Where do you folks get these ideas from? They have nothing to do with Limbaugh, but they sure appear to describe you, who seek censorship of political ideas you disagree with. Have you actually listened to Limbaugh or actually read his books? Are your opinions about Limbaugh based on what others have told you about him, say, political ideologues who oppose his beliefs? Why don’t you develop an opinion about Limbaugh that is based on your own experience? And for the lady who said that kids are not rushing into her book store to buy the Rush Revere book, how many kids actually buy their own books? Most children’s books are purchased by adults for the kids in their lives, a well-worn tradition by both the liberals and conservatives in my own family.

  13. Doris Johns says:

    Congratulations to Rush Limbaugh on receiving a well-deserved award. I am saddened by, but not surprised by, the hatred and intolerance expressed by several on this site. Obviously, they have never listened to Limbaugh and know nothing about him. I have enjoyed his program of serious discussion of current events mixed with humor for over 20 years. He is an intelligent person, an interesting conversationalist and he has donated millions to charity. He is none of the nasty names some label him.
    I bought the first book for my grandchildren (I buy lots of books for them) but they begged their moms for the sequel. My step-grandson, who is nine, has never willingly read any book until he picked up my granddaughter’s copy. He started to read it and soon could be heard laughing out loud. He finished it in two days and asked for the sequel. Thank you CBC for standing by your stated goal of creating a love of reading in children and for not letting politics be an issue in your decisions. Please continue to recognize excellent children’s literature that children will actually read!