The Long Shadow

A Time-Travel Journey

A Novel for Ages 13 and up


time-travel young-adult novel

purple dragonfly award moonbeam awardThe Long Shadow: A Time-Travel Journey by Phyllis Wheeler is an award-winning novel for ages 13 and up. 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.

Richie, age 14, doesn’t expect to time-travel. He just wants to go camping.

Aunt Trudy never wanted kids. Now that she’s Richie’s guardian, she makes his life miserable. Richie wants to escape, so he seeks refuge in the deep Missouri woods he loves so much.

Looking for a campsite, he wanders between two cedar trees. Suddenly it’s not summer, but late fall. All the vehicles on the road look like they’re going to an antique-car show. Even so, Richie doesn’t realize at first that he’s traveled back in time fifty years. After a freak storm, he’s freezing. The person who saves him is Morris, a mysterious black woodsman.

So, why is a policeman soon chasing Richie? And why is Morris so determined to hide from everyone? Richie and Morris both long for home. But getting there seems impossible.

Then Richie realizes that the key to bringing Morris in from the cold could be a trip further back in time—to try to prevent a terrible crime.

Winner of a Purple Dragonfly Award and a Moonbeam Children’s Book Award, The Long Shadow  keeps readers turning pages.  Find out today why so many fans love this book and its positive message of reconciliation and hope.



Audiobook now available! 

Buy at Amazon

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Buy at the Novel Neighbor, a St. Louis bookstore 

Buy at  Inscriptions Books, an online indie bookstore based in St. Louis (Arnold)

(Also order at any bookstore. Hardback available now!)


Find a free unit study guide for homeschoolers here.

Find free discussion questions here.

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

Watch a video review at

Read a blog interview at

Watch the author read the opening scene

Check out the Purple Dragonfly Award for The Long Shadow

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

“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.