Rush Limbaugh selection in children's book competition causes a stir

(CNN) -- Rush Limbaugh -- radio host, conservative firebrand and... children's book author of the year?

The Children's Book Council and its Every Child a Reader program released on Thursday their author-of-the-year finalists for their annual Children's and Teen Choice Book Awards.

Limbaugh is one of the four finalists, and his nomination has prompted outrage on social media, given the host's often-incendiary nature.

Limbaugh's book is titled, "Rush Revere and The Brave Pilgrims: Time-Travel Adventures with Exceptional Americans" - a time-traveling tale of colonial America and the latest of two books in the "Rush Revere Series" published last year by Simon & Schuster.

Limbaugh, an outspoken figure in the political world, often expresses controversial sentiments on his radio program. Recently, Limbaugh blasted Pope Francis' economic views as "pure Marxism," and, in 2012, he called Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke a "slut" and "prostitute" for her support of women's access to birth control.

The Children's Book Council issued a public letter, posted to its website and Facebook page, defending its finalist selection process following the uproar online and insisting that the author of the year finalists "are determined solely based on titles' performances on the bestseller lists."

"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 organization said in the letter.

The CBC letter goes on to say the kids, who will start voting next week, ultimately decide which author wins in each of the six categories, including best author. The letter goes on to assure that the organization has a procedure in place to protect against fraud and adult's voting in the contest.

"This program has never been about CBC or ECAR endorsing finalists," the letter says.

Limbaugh touted the apparent success of his book series on his radio program on Thursday.

"We just found out last night that on the New York Times Best-Seller List of March the 30th, 'Rush Revere and the First Patriots' will open at number one, and 'Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims' moves up to number four," said, according to a transcript of the audio.

Limbaugh's book landed at the number-5 spot on the New York Times best seller's list for the week of March 23.

CNN's Dana Davidsen contributed to this report.

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