Book of the Month
Rush Revere and the Star-Spangled Banner: Time-Travel Adventures with Exceptional Americans, Rush Limbaugh, Threshold Editions, 2015, $19.99
This is the third in a series of what would be history books, except for the time-travel aspect and the sometimes invisible horse, Liberty, which puts them in the category of science fiction. It’s encouraging that this patriotic book by Limbaugh and his wife is that category’s best-selling children’s book on Amazon.
Middle-school teacher “Rush Revere” and several of his students, one student’s grandfather, and Liberty take a field trip to Washington, D.C., “the political heart of the country.” They visit the Washington Monument, the National Archives, the Capitol, the Supreme Court, and the White House.
At the National Archives they learn that the eagle is the American “symbol of strength and freedom” and they see the Constitution. The grandfather tells the students:
The United States Constitution is our country’s most important document. At the time it was written, the words were radical. Yes, it is a physical document but it is a foundation that established an entirely new way of governing. The power under the Constitution remains always with the people.
Readers learn about freedoms that “never existed in human history until our ancestors, the Founders, created them in the Constitution.” Limbaugh explains the balance of powers and the three branches of government.
The students travel back to September of 1787 to meet James Madison in Philadelphia. “The father of the Constitution” was helping to determine how the country would move forward after winning the war against England. They also meet George Mason, “the father of the Bill of Rights,” who fought to make sure the first ten Amendments were included “to protect the people’s rights” and “to stop the government from taking away the freedoms of our citizens.” Rush Revere tells the students, “The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution stops the government from passing laws that prevent you from speaking your mind.” (Maybe things would be going more smoothly at a few colleges if students had been exposed to this book.)
In the latter part of the book, the group heads to a Nationals baseball game and then time travels to 1814, to find Francis Scott Key who wrote our National Anthem, inspired by the night the Americans forced the British Navy to flee the Baltimore Harbor. They also help Dolley Madison save a portrait of George Washington as D.C. burns.
Five- through twelve-year-old children would enjoy this book.