With the award, Rush Revere and The Brave Pilgrims: Time-Travel Adventures With Exceptional Americans, which peaked at #2 on USA Today's best seller list, beat out Divergent author Veronica Roth and Heroes of Olympus author Rich Riordan, among others.
"I love America," Limbaugh said in his acceptance speech. "I wish everybody did. Someday, I hope everybody will."
Many objected to the controversial far-right host's nomination, as despite strong sales, Limbaugh's book lacked positive reviews or response.
"It received no starred reviews, or even positive reviews, in the children's book review world," McGraw-Hill Education editor Harold Underdown explained in a Facebook post. He went on to clarify how Limbaugh's inclusion as a nominee was an inappropriate manifestation of sales determining the award rankings, not merit or quality. That rule allowed Rush Limbaugh to buy his way to the nomination, something he admits doing.
Bestsellers become bestsellers in many ways, and not necessarily because they are popular with children, since adults buy many children's books. By limiting the voting list to bestsellers, children are unable to discover other books that didn't sell as well. It also becomes possible to buy one's way onto the bestseller list, as happens routinely in adult publishing -- and Limbaugh has publicly acknowledged buying at least 15,000 copies of his book.