don't tell cover


    • Frederick’s character is developed with maximum attention to the nuances of Asperger’s Syndrome, and he is both likeable and complex.” – CM: Canadian Review of Materials


  • …Frederick’s thoughts, powerfully displayed through the sometimes erratic and tangential text, are manifestations of the syndrome with which the kids are labelled…Anyone can be normal, the author posits, just as anyone can be a hero, under the right circumstances. [Don’t Tell Don’t Tell Don’t Tell is] heavily character-driven, focusing on teens and the friendships they make, and both see their protagonists drawn into tenuous, even dangerous situations.” - Quill & Quire

Don’t Tell, Don’t Tell, Don’t Tell takes us into the world of a boy with Asperger’s and a girl whose efforts to make friends take a bad turn and demonstrates that we all are looking to find a way to fit into the world, whether it’s a world we make for ourselves or one into which we try to insinuate ourselves.”                            CanLit for Little Canadians



Color-ThJust as she did in Fostergirls… Liane Shaw demonstrates that perspective is everything and nothing is the same for everyone”

CanLit for Little Canadians

 “With no words between them, they build a friendship and connection that resonates and lets them express themselves louder than talking. The Color of Silence is a strong pick for youth novel collections, highly recommended.”

The Midwest Book Review

“Liane Shaw’s poetic novel of grief and friendship examines the vast difference between how we perceive ourselves and how others perceive us.”

Quill and Quire

Liane Shaw has written a story on a topic not often spoken or written about and succeeds in making a difficult topic approachable and relatable.    At times heartbreaking and completely gripping, The Color of Silence paints a sympathetic picture of what it might be like to live with disabilities and adversity. Both characters are relatable and well expressed through their silent voices, as written in detailed first person accounts. Shaw dives into the mind of those who most cannot understand and truly educates the reader on what one’s life might be like living with disabilities and on the new hope that technology brings towards communicating through eye recognition. Not a typical young adult novel in character or in subject, but definitely worth a read.

Recommended.  CM magazine


“Strong character development and believable situations provide a robust foundation for her excellent, ultimately hopeful tale. Sadie’s edgy account of finding a real place for herself in the world will keep readers thoroughly engaged. ”

Kirkus Reviews

“I didn’t know what to expect when I picked up this book, but it surpassed my expectations big time. I can say that Fostergirls will be counted among my favourite reads of 2011.”

Library of Clean Reads

“Sadie, though tough as nails, narrates her story with an amusing edginess that works…For readers seeking an honest account of how a girl without parents survives, this story delivers.”

Publishers Weekly

“The first-person perspective is what makes the book for me. Being inside Sadie’s mind is the best way to understand her avoidance of friendship and her difficulties with school work. From the very first chapter Shaw had me interested in the point of view with this description of the school system…This is an important novel for anyone to read.”

Libraries and Young Adults

An authentic and accurate story…Will engage many reluctant readers and fans of problem novels, and it will have a special appeal to other ‘fostergirls’ and those struggling with learning disabilities or school.”

School Library Journal


“With well-developed characters in the mix of family and friends who engage with this young woman, teenaged readers have the opportunity to enjoy a strong story while at the same time learn about an illness that may hit close to home.”

National Post

“Liane Shaw, who has battled anorexia herself, spins Maddie’s treatment – as she progresses from delusions to tough realizations – into an absorbing psychological drama…through clear and unflinching storytelling, Shaw takes her readers deep into the labyrinthine psyche of a young girl battling an eating disorder.”

Quill & Quire

“… a brave book that succeeds in both being a compelling read and a great tool to spark a dialogue among teens around beauty, media pressure and the effects it has on us all.”

Canadian Bookseller

“With well developed characters in the mix of family and friends who engage with this young woman, readers have the opportunity to enjoy a strong story while at the same time learning about an illness that may hit close to home. Highly recommended.”

Saskatoon Star Phoenix is particularly informative and inspirational for teens dealing with low self-esteem and eating disorders. This book would be an excellent addition to a young adult fiction collection. Recommended.”

Library Media Collection

  • Brent Eades

    Those are some pretty impressive reviews. Nice. I *told* you you were a real writer :)

  • Petya Lowes

    Very nice Mrs Shaw. to my favorite teacher still to this day

  • Anne Letain

    Shaw, Liane; Caterpillars Can’t Swim,

    978-1-77260-053-7, Second Story Press, $13.95

    Grade level: 6-9

    Rating: Good

    “Caterpillars Can’t Swim” is a really well-intentioned book about some big social acceptance issues that today’s adolescents face. It can kind of be described as a mash-up of teenagers facing disabilities and other teens growing up gay within the context of the prejudices of small town high school life.

    From the get-go, it’s pretty evident that lessons are going to be properly learned under the guise of fiction. Lessons about learning to accept and celebrate our differences. While the book is not preachy, it is very wordy as the narrator Ryan (an appealing 16-year old confined to a wheelchair with cerebral palsy) spends a lot of the books examining life itself, especially after he saves Jack a fellow schoolmate who tries to drown himself because his closeted life has become unbearable. Despite his CP, Ryan is a good swimmer and becomes the school/town hero, and inadvertently feels continued responsibility for Jack. A friendship of sorts ensues although it never feels very honest, just a lot of tandem navel gazing as Ryan and Jack work out their own anguish.

    Despite a strong, exciting beginning, not much really happens in the book even when Jack and Ryan travel to another community to attend Comic-Con in the company of Ryan’s best friend Cody, who in some respects is the most authentic of the three main characters. Cody is an over the top personality who contributes any levity that exists in the book, and in some ways is the most sensitive and intuitive of the triumvirate. This is not to say that Ryan and Jack are poorly conceived. They aren’t but they present more conventional versions of disability and sexuality than Cody does as the school jock and potential school buffoon.

    Sometimes in fiction “less is more” and it feels at times that the author is just trying too hard to educate us. There’s a lot of direct message here. She wishes to offer hope to struggling young adults like Cody and Jack but that could probably been achieved just as well by showing more and telling less. It’s not always necessary to point out the obvious. Still the book is a good purchase for the middle school library.

    Curriculum connections: physical disabilities, cerebral palsy, LBGT

  • Anne Letain

    I’d send the review privately but there’s no option on the website – feel free to remove/edit etc. As someone who also writes, I like to receive a whole spectrum of opinion. This was written for Resource Links.