I hadn’t taken much notice of Rush Limbaugh’s first book in a history series for children. Oh well, I thought, another celebrity enters the marketplace. I found it a bit unusual, in a literary sense, that he named the title character after himself, Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims. But this is not the first time that’s happened, nor will it be the last. Celebrities are almost as bent on inserting their children’s names, or their own, in books, as they are in persisting in terrible rhyme schemes. And Rush? Well, no one has ever accused him of bridling his ego and what a great opportunity he created for revising history in his own image. Was this ego, or branding? I didn’t know, didn’t care and wasn’t interested in reading the book.
But last week, I did take notice, along with many people in the children’s book world when we discovered that the CBC (Children’s Book Council), a credible and respected panel of children’s book authorities, was considering Rush Limbaugh as a finalist for one of their awards. It turns out that:
- there’s quite a story behind this curious circumstance and
- children’s book publishing is no different than other other business. You can buy your way to fame!
My children’s book listserv was particularly upset. One of the members, Debbie Reese, today posted a blog that gives a thorough picture of the situation and a detailed, thoughtful response after her reading of Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims. (Hats off to her for having more intestinal fortitude than I do!) Reese has decided expertise in judging the accuracy of Native American literature. Here is a link to her website:
In protest of this marketing manipulation, I am not linking to the book. If you’re interested, you’ll have to find that information yourself!