The Long Shadow

A Novel for Ages 10-14 


The Long Shadow for upper middle grade, book cover

The Long Shadow by Phyllis Wheeler is an award-winning time-travel novel for upper middle grade with a theme of racial reconciliation. It’s also an Amazon category bestseller with reviews averaging 4.5 stars.

This is an important story …”  — Diana Perry for The Midwest Book Review.

Winner of a 2021 Moonbeam Children’s Book Award

What if a 14-year-old boy from present-day white suburbia finds himself 50 years in the past, fighting to survive a freak storm in the woods and afraid to accept help from a black man?

Once the two learn to trust each other, Richie learns about the traumatic event that shaped the man Morris’s life: the lynching of Morris’s grandfather in 1923. If Richie can go back in time again and prevent the lynching, will Morris come in from the cold?



Audiobook now available! 

Buy at Amazon

Buy at Barnes and Noble

Buy at with free delivery to your local bookstore

Buy at the Novel Neighbor, a St. Louis bookstore which has them in stock

(Also order at any bookstore)


Find a free unit study guide for homeschoolers here.

Check out the Moonbeam Children’s Book Award for The Long Shadow

Storyjumpers Podcast: Listen to an excerpt read by the author, and author interview

Read an article on Phyllis and the book in the Webster-Kirkwood Times, her local paper

Listen to an interview on Radio63119 Community Radio

Watch a video review at

Read a blog interview at

Watch the author read the opening scene

Find free discussion questions here.

“Part survival story, part exploration of racial justice in America, part journey of self-discovery, and wholly engaging and memorable.  A well done and powerful story.  It is certainly stuck in my head.”—Joe Corbett, school librarian, St. Louis.

“Heartwarming and heartbreaking, Richie’s story is a shining example of how taking a chance on unlikely friendships is the best way to break down the barriers we build.” —Jill Williamson, award-winning author of the Blood of Kings trilogy.

“A powerful message wrapped in a page-turner.” — Cherie Postill, author, speaker, and mentor for teens at the St. Louis Writers Guild.

“I hope someone out there will read this book, not just those young readers out there but adults as well. This book matters for everyone.” —Mary Kris Rudas, a twenty-something reviewer.

“Searching for a new favorite book? Look no further than The Long Shadow by Phyllis Wheeler. This is a great book for fans of To Kill a Mockingbird but with a time-travel twist. Richie grabs your attention and doesn’t let go until the very end.”—Elsie G, age 13.

“Sometimes we need to escape our own time and place to walk a few miles in someone else’s shoes. Phyllis Wheeler’s The Long Shadow will open your eyes, rend your heart, and take you on an invaluable journey.” —Wayne Thomas Batson, bestselling author of The Door Within Trilogy.

“I loved this book. I could not stop reading it once I had begun. It is a delightful story, as well as a very painful one, told very well without a wasted word. I gladly recommend it to anyone.” –Jerram Barrs, professor at Covenant Theological Seminary and author of Echoes of Eden: Reflections on Christianity, Literature, and the Arts.

“Full of interesting characters . . . [The Long Shadow has] heart, humor, and a great overall theme. . . . Complex subject matter, woven into enjoyable fantasy. . .”—John Hendrix, NYT bestselling illustrator and author.

“I’ve read this book and enjoyed the characters in the story. I like the friendship that blossomed in the story and how the story came full circle in the end. It was a good history lesson without being offensive to anyone.”—LaShaunda Hoffman, sensitivity reader and author.

“In The Long Shadow, RIchie finds himself traveling through time and learning to explore his own biases and prejudices towards people of color. Richie’s trajectory of self discovery is one that kids of all backgrounds and cultures can enjoy.” — Rebecca Groves, middle school literature teacher.

“This compelling and engaging story is a must read!” —Rob Currie, author of Hunger Winter: A World War II Novel.

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