The Children's Book Council in America is responding to criticisms for including conservative political pundit Rush Limbaugh on its shortlist for author of the year award.
In addition to being a radio talk show host, Limbaugh is also a bestselling children's book author, having written a series of books about "Rush" Revere, a time-traveling character that explores American colonial history.
The council's nomination of the outspoken figure prompted plenty of backlash, with some people believing the nomination to be politically based or for publicity. The Council posted a letter
to the public on its website and Facebook page about the selection process for its finalists, emphasizing that the nomination is based on book sales.
"The Author of the Year and Illustrator of the Year finalists are determined solely based on titles' performances on the bestseller lists --
all titles in those categories are listed as a result of this protocol. Some of you have voiced concerns over the selection of finalists from bestseller lists, which you feel are potentially-manipulable indications of the success of a title. We can take this into consideration going forward, but cannot change our procedure for selecting finalists after the fact."
The Children's Book Council is described as a "nonprofit trade associated of publishers," and was originally established in 1944 as the Association of Children's Book Editors.