Conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh won out over such authors as “Divergent” writer Veronica Roth and “Heroes of Olympus” writer Rick Riordan to take the Author of the Year prize at the Children’s Choice Book Awards.
Limbaugh won the award for his title “Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims.”
“I love America,” Limbaugh said in his acceptance speech, according to industry newsletter Shelf Awareness. “I wish everybody did. Someday, I hope everybody will." He added, "I am honored and humbled to be among you.”
Some objected after Limbaugh’s name surfaced on the list of nominees for the Author of the Year award, a reaction that Kirkus Reviews children’s and teen editor Vicky Smith described as “the children’s-literature world [going] ballistic.” For example, McGraw-Hill Education book editor Harold Underdown wrote on Facebook that he objected to Limbaugh being included because his book “received no starred reviews, or even positive reviews, in the children’s book review world."
According to Shelf Awareness, so many people contacted the Children’s Book Council, those behind the CCBA, with concerns that the organization released a statement about how nominees and winners are selected.
“We at the Children’s Book Council and Every Child a Reader sincerely appreciate your concerns about this year’s Children’s Choice Book Awards, and wanted to take a moment to clear up some confusion,” the letter began.
The CBC explained that nominees for the Author of the Year category are chosen based only on how authors’ books performed on bestseller lists. The organization noted that some expressed concerns that these numbers are “potentially-manipulable.” (As noted by Publishers Weekly, Limbaugh asked his fanbase to vote for him on his radio show.)
The winner of each category is then determined by “kids and teens” and that “we have procedures in place to eliminate duplicate, fake, and adult votes during the voting period as much as possible.”
Of the fact that sales numbers determine finalists, the CBC wrote that “we can take this into consideration going forward, but cannot change our procedure for selecting finalists after the fact.”