Title: The Incredible Adventures of Rush Revere series
Author: Rush Limbaugh
Major Themes: Boston Tea Party, George Washington, Pilgrims
Synopsis: This series of books uses a time-traveling horse to help children feel like they are seeing the events that led up to and followed the American Revolution, and understand the American style of government.
I’ve been seeing references in various places to the The Incredible Adventures of Rush Revere books, and was thinking I’d like to read some of them so I could review them for this website. When I had the opportunity to sign up for a review of them, I grabbed the chance. I found these books interesting, but not a great fit for our family. For the most part, the history seems to be quite accurate; I noted below where I was in question about it. This is a creative way to teach history and make it fascinating! What I don’t like so much is the magical aspect. The main character, Rush Revere, a history teacher who dresses like Paul Revere, has a magic horse who can take people through a time portal to any time in American History. The horse starts running, saying the words, “Rush, rush, rushing into history,” and a swirling yellow and purple circle opens up in front of them. Whoever jumps through quickly, before it closes up, is instantly transported to the time and place they chose. The horse can also stop time briefly.
Book #1: Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims: Rush and his horse take two children from the history class for which he is substitute teaching to visit the Pilgrims. First, he takes Tommy to the Mayflower as it is traveling across the Atlantic Ocean, and then he takes both Tommy and Freedom, a girl who looks somewhat Native American, to Plymouth Plantation to watch the Pilgrims starting their new life in the New World.
Book #2: Rush Revere and the First Patriots: Rush is now visiting the American colonies in the 1770s, as the colonists are becoming upset with the English king. He takes Tommy and another boy from his history class, Cam, along. Then, Elizabeth, the principal’s daughter, sees them jump through the time portal and figures out what is going on. She demands to be taken along somewhere, so they take her to see George III. However, she decides she wants to become a queen, so she decides she is going to tell the king about the Boston Tea Party and change history—how can they stop her? Rush and his friends participate in that event, as well as meet Samuel Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Paul Revere, George Washington, and Patrick Henry—among other famous Founding Fathers. What I really didn’t like in this book? Freedom is able to communicate telepathically with the horse.
Book #3: Rush Revere and the American Revolution: Now, Rush Revere is taking his students to visit scenes from the opening of the Revolutionary War. They witness Paul Revere’s ride and the battles of Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill. Throughout the book is woven the story of a young boy who is struggling with being upset about his father’s deployment in Afghanistan and problems with a bully. He uses the lessons he learns from watching the early battles in the Revolution to win a battle with the bully. What I really didn’t like in this book? In chapter 1 Cam gets in a fight. In chapter 3 the horse, Liberty, pretends to be a vampire, and later Rush tells Cam that fighting is sometimes necessary.
Book #4: Rush Revere and the Star Spangled Banner: Rush’s young friend Tommy is not feeling very happy, since his grandfather is in the Veteran’s Hospital and not doing well. To distract him and cheer him up, Rush takes Tommy, Cam and Freedom on a summer field trip to Washington, D. C., where they visit the important buildings, see the original documents that set up the United States, and learn about the government. They also time-travel to various events in the past, such as the writing of the Constitution and the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner. The word gosh appears on page 51, chapter 3.
Book #5: Rush Revere and the Presidency: Cam wants to be elected as the president of his middle school. Rush Revere and Liberty help Cam and his friends to put a campaign together, as they learn a lot about the United States Presidency and how people become President. They travel back in time to witness President Washington’s inauguration and his farewell speech, meet John and Abigail Adams as he begins his presidency, and visit Thomas Jefferson at the time of the Louisiana Purchase. I did have to wonder about the accuracy of this book; it sounds as though even the first two presidents campaigned for votes, but the way I remember reading it, that didn’t start until much later. I did appreciate the way it was explained that the President’s motive needs to be to help people, not to be popular and famous. The word gee appears on page 110 in chapter 5.
I also do not agree with the author’s view of the United States. He believes the United States is the greatest nation that has ever existed. I do agree that it is the only country specifically built on the principles of freedom and equality, but to say that it is the greatest nation? I certainly don’t believe that it is any more. Also, I believe in two kingdoms—the kingdom of God and the kingdom of this world. I don’t believe the two can be mixed; secular government is needed, but we as Christians should not be involved (Romans 13). So, as I said, this series of books is not a good fit for our family for various reasons, although a lot of families who believe differently than us will love them.
WARNING: See main body of review for my concerns.
Listening Level—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12