Getting kids to read is hard enough, and getting them to read books that actually teach them something is even more of a challenge—but that challenge just got a little easier with the release of the fourth book in the Rush Revere Series, Rush Revere and the Star-Spangled Banner, by Rush Limbaugh.
Yes, that Rush Limbaugh, who published the first book in this fun, breezy young reader series in 2013, introducing part-time substitute teacher Rush Revere and his magical time-traveling (and eternally hungry) horse Liberty (what, your grammar school experience didn’t include time-traveling substitute teachers? Weird). With the magic phrase “Rush, rush, rushing to history!” Rush Revere can travel through time, taking his students with him for a firsthand look at the most epic moments in America’s story. Rush Limbaugh’s books are lighthearted, fun stories that appeal to kids and make it easy to convince them that history is far from boring.
In Rush Revere and the Star-Spangled Banner, Rush takes his students to several important moments in America’s early history, where they get to meet James Madison, his wife Dolley, and Francis Scott Key, as well as witness the burning of Washington during the War of 1812 and the Battle of Fort McHenry, which inspired the nation’s National Anthem. Limbaugh once again prizes fun over accuracy, with Rush Revere and the kids getting involved in comical cases of mistaken identity, high-speed chases through 18th-century Philadelphia, and other madcap adventures. Young readers will come away feeling that history isn’t a chore, but rather a story that relates to their lives.
This is precisely how the prior three volumes threaded the needle of entertaining kids while introducing them to the concepts and events that shaped our nation. In Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims, Rush Revere takes a secretly nerdy quarterback and a quiet young girl on a trip back to 1620 to meet the Pilgrims who settled this continent and the Native American tribes they encountered and negotiated with in order to survive, giving the kids a chance to see firsthand what it was like to cross the ocean and survive a brutal winter, not to mention question people like William Bradford (who thinks Rush Revere might make a good governor!).
In the sequel, Rush Revere and the First Patriots, Rush takes the kids (now expanded to a group of four, including newcomers Cam and Elizabeth) back to 1765 and to 1774 to hear the protests against British rule firsthand, get his hungry horse Liberty some baked beans, and meet people like Sam Adams, Paul Revere, and Benjamin Franklin. Once again Limbaugh’s frothy text doesn’t worry overmuch about details but focuses on getting kids to think of their country’s history as an exciting subject they’ll want to explore more deeply on their own—and if possible, with their own magical time-traveling horse.
The next book in the series, Rush Revere and the American Revolution, dives into the American Revolution itself, as Rush Revere brings the kids—including Cam, whose father is serving as a soldier in Afghanistan, making Cam angry and unhappy—to see these momentous events up close. Cam’s attitude changes as he meets the heroes of the Revolution, including George Washington himself, and begins to see the sacrifices that our ancestors made, but the book never gets bogged down in anything too serious, focusing instead on Liberty’s hilarious quests for delicious spinach-and-oats smoothies and the sheer excitement of witnessing American history.
The Rush Revere books are all about the joy of knowledge and exploration, and appreciating history as both an amazing story and a way of better understanding the modern world. There’s no arguing with that, and if you have kids you want to turn into readers, thinkers, and historians, this series is a great place to start.