The Books

New Classics Study Guides are for specific books you can find at online sources.

The Long Shadow by Phyllis Wheeler

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 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.

You can learn more at Phyllis’ website.

An Unexpected Adventure by Kandi J Wyatt

Protect their community or protect their discovery?

For eighth graders Chace, Harley, Will, and Cherise, that’s a life-changing question after they find a dragon’s egg while hunting for thundereggs on the beach. Toss in summer jobs, family struggles, and a National Security Agent, and their summer vacation just became complicated.

Can they find a solution that won’t leave their hearts broken or their community in flames?

You can learn more about An Unexpected Adventure or Myrtle Beach, where it takes place, on Kandi’s website.

Light of Mine by Allen Brokken

Darkness is spreading through Zoura. Beyond the borders of the heathlands, innocent animals are being turned into monsters, and good men into pawns of the Dark One. Father has vanished after joining the Mighty Mercenaries and mother has gone missing in search of him.

Alone on the farm, twelve-year-old Lauren and her brave little brothers, Aiden (9) and Ethan (5), must guard the Tower of Light that will guide both parents home. But when a hooded stranger is caught trespassing the farm, and a new bishop claims the church, confusion pervades their close-knit community. Will the children be able to recognize who is a threat to the Tower and who is there to help them protect it?

With little else but the aid of a trio of blessed pets, three holy weapons, and their growing faith, Lauren, Aiden, and Ethan find it is up to them to stop the agents of The Dark One from putting out the Light and dooming the heathlands to Darkness.

You can learn more and listen and read along to the first chapter on Allen’s website.

Thick as Thieves by Susan K. Marlow

Fourteen-year-old Andrea Carter would rather ride her beloved palomino, Taffy, than do anything else. But life on the Circle C ranch in 1882 is busy. Between school and chores, Andi is left with little time to prepare for Taffy’s first foaling. Then when the event finally arrives, it nearly ends in disaster.

Returning to school keeps Andi hard-pressed to find time for foal training. And she now has a new problem on her hands–Macy Walker, who has been assigned as Andi’s seatmate. The new girl’s crude manners and cruel behavior bring storm clouds into Andi’s life, as does the news that cattle rustlers have moved into the valley.

When the cattle rustlers turn to stealing horses and strike the Carter ranch, Andi’s only hope for recovering her precious colts lies with Macy. Can Andi trust this wild girl? Does she have a choice?

You can find out more about the book and others in the series as well as other study guides on Susan’s website.

The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler by John Hendrix

The story of German pastor and Nazi resistor Dietrich Bonhoeffer comes to life in this award-winning graphic novel from John Hendrix
A YALSA Nonfiction Excellence in Nonfiction Award Finalist​!

Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party is gaining strength and becoming more menacing every day. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a pastor upset by the complacency of the German church toward the suffering around it, forms a breakaway church to speak out against the established political and religious authorities. When the Nazis outlaw the church, he escapes as a fugitive. Struggling to reconcile his faith and the teachings of the Bible with the Nazi Party’s evil agenda, Bonhoeffer decides that Hitler must be stopped by any means possible!

In his signature style of interwoven handwritten text and art, John Hendrix tells the true story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a pastor who makes the ultimate sacrifice in order to help free the German people from oppression during World War II.

You can find out more about The Faithful Spy and John’s other works on his website.