Thursday, January 16, 2014


Bookmark and Share

Recently, a teacher wrote to ask if I'd reviewed Rush Limbaugh's Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims. I haven't reviewed it, but I do know about it. And, this morning in my email cue, there was one from Goodreads. Once a week I get an email telling me what people I follow have read or reviewed. Today's email included what K8 said about the book. With her permission, I'm sharing some of what she wrote about Native content in the book.

There is a character in Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims named Freedom. Though he apparently does not identify her as being Native, what he says tells us that she is.  From K8's post at Goodreads:

On page 117:
It was hard not to look at her black hair. It was silky smooth, as if she brushed it a thousand times. This morning there was a yellow feather clipped in it.
Earlier, when we first meet Freedom, on p. 39
Freedom smiled and replied, "I've had lots of practice tracking animals with my grandfather."
On page 59:
"I like him, too," said Freedom. "But he is more than a horse. He must be a spirit animal. There is an Indian legend about animals that can talk to humans."
On page 146 is Samoset, saying:
"Me learn English from fishing men who come for cod."
On page 190 when Rush meets Massasoit:
"He smiled and spoke a language that was complete gibberish."

Why bother, you might be thinking, with Limbaugh's book? Well--because one person wrote to ask me about it, and I assume there are others out there who wonder about it, too.

Another reason?

Take a look at the rating at Goodreads and at Amazon. Four and five stars?! While it would be tempting to just turn away, I think we have to pay attention to what people embrace and give to their kids. Describing a Native language as "gibberish" and attending to a Native girl's hair as he does tells me that kids are getting a very narrow--and frightening--view of Native people.

1 comment:

Katy said...

Katy/K8 here:

Another important thing to keep in mind in terms of why we should bother with this text is that it has been on the New York Times' Middle Grade Fiction bestseller list since it came out (so, for 10 weeks). It was number one for many weeks and it is now #5.

People are buying this book.

Additionally, it was published by Simon & Schuster (or, rather, one of their imprints), so a major publisher put this out in the world and is using its publicity machine to promote it widely.