Broken Drum

cover of Broken Drum

Based on an actual person, Broken Drum, is the story of Charley King, a twelve-year-old drummer boy from West Chester, Pennsylvania, who is caught up in the excitement and patriotism during the early stages of the Civil War. Mustered into Company F of the Pennsylvania 49th Volunteers in September of 1861, his journey begins with the defense of Washington as part of Major General George McClellan’s Army of the Potomac. Charley is involved in the transport of the huge army down the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay to Norfolk, and then, by land, the grueling progression of the Peninsula Campaign and its disappointing retreat, eventually arriving at the Battle of Antietam.

image of Charley King

His journey takes him from childhood to maturity. Not only is he exposed to the excitement and horrors of battle, but also to the boredom of picket duty, endless drills, epidemics, and inclement weather. During his intense experiences, Charley meets many diverse characters, both real and fictional. Among the historical characters are President and Mrs. Abraham Lincoln, General McClellan, and Clara Barton.

Charley’s experiences during a period when the United States was at war with itself provide a historical and moving background for Broken Drum.

Cowritten with Jacqueline Cosgrove Shields

What Readers have said about Broken Drum

photo of Civil War drum

“Sit the kids down and insist on silence as you read to them from a book such as Broken Drum…In the cadence of your words, visualizations will come of warfare as it really was, not only of soldiers and guns, but of real people, not only old, but very, very young.”The Washington Post

“Broken Drum is the kind of book that makes history come alive for young teens.”The Daily Press

“This is a book for all age readers. I picked it to read to grad students in my reading methods class to teach local area history, a realistic way of portraying war, character development, or just a good read. Beautifully told with an uplifting ending…”Mary Bowman Kruhm, Ed.D., Faculty Associate, Johns Hopkins University, and author of over 30 books for children and young adults

“I like how the book wasn’t just a bunch of history. It had life.” Nicholas, a 5th grader

“It really touched me in the heart.” Becky, a 5th grader

Anthony Valliere displaying the quilt he made as part of a book report for Mrs. Robyn Martinsen’s 5th grade class in Douglas, MA.

White Mane Publishing Co., Inc.
ISBN: 978-1-57249-027-7  $12.95
Order now from White Mane: 888-948-6263