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Li'l Dan, the Drummer Boy

A Civil War Story

Foreword by Henry Louis Gates Jr. / Illustrated by Romare Bearden / Read by Maya Angelou

About The Book

A brave drummer boy marches along with Union soldiers in this powerful picture book.

Li’l Dan, an enslaved boy on a Southern plantation, loves to play his drum. When a company of Union soldiers announce that the slaves have been set free, Dan has no place to go, so he follows the soldiers, who make him their mascot. But Confederate soldiers attack, and Dan discovers that he is the only one who can save his friends.

About The Author

© Marvin E. Newman

Romare Bearden (1911–1988) is internationally recognized as one of America's greatest artists and was a recipient of the President's National Medal of Arts. Bearden worked in many media, but he is best known for his collages. His work is included in museums and galleries throughout the United States, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. 

About The Illustrator

© Marvin E. Newman

Romare Bearden (1911–1988) is internationally recognized as one of America's greatest artists and was a recipient of the President's National Medal of Arts. Bearden worked in many media, but he is best known for his collages. His work is included in museums and galleries throughout the United States, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. 

About The Reader

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (September 1, 2003)
  • Length: 40 pages
  • ISBN13: 9780689862373
  • Grades: P - 3
  • Ages: 4 - 8
  • Lexile ® AD640L The Lexile reading levels have been certified by the Lexile developer, MetaMetrics®

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Raves and Reviews

Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee This touching tale, colored by the sensitivity and warmth of Romare Bearden's art, tells of an intense moment in history through the eyes of a child at freedom's door. How fortunate that this story was not lost forever. We loved it!

Awards and Honors

  • NAACP Image Award Nominee

Resources and Downloads

High Resolution Images

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