Caterpillars Can't Swim

Caterpillars Can't Swim


By Liane Shaw


Two boys look to the water for escape, but for very different reasons.

For sixteen-year-old Ryan, the water is where he finds his freedom. Ever since childhood, when he realized that he would never walk like other people, he has loved the water where gravity is no longer his enemy. But he never imagined he would become his small town’s hero by saving a schoolmate from drowning.

Jack is also attracted to the water, but for him it’s the promise of permanent escape. Disappearing altogether seems better than living through one more day of high-school where he is dogged by rumors about his sexuality. He’s terrified that coming out will alienate him from everyone in town—and crush his adoring mother.

Ryan saves Jack’s life, but he also keeps his secret. Their bond leads to a grudging friendship, and an unexpected road-trip to Comic Con with Ryan’s best friend Cody, the captain of the swim team. They make an unlikely trio, but each of them will have the chance to show whether he is brave enough to go against the stereotypes the world wants to define him by.


About the Author

Liane Shaw is the author of several books for teens, including, Fostergirls, The Color of Silence, and Don't Tell, Don't Tell, Don't Tell. Liane was an educator for more than 20 years. Now retired from teaching, Liane lives with her family in the Ottawa Valley in Ontario.

Product Information

  • Release: September 12, 2017
  • US Release: Spring 2018
  • $13.95 Paperback
  • 256 Pages
  • 5.5 x 8.25
  • Teen Fiction
  • Ages 13-18 / Grades 8-12
  • ISBN: 9781772600537


  • Character Education
    > Bullying
    > Friendship & Family
    > Prejudice & Tolerance
  • Reflecting Diversity
    > Abilities
    > LGBTQ

Advanced Praise for Caterpillars Can't Swim

  • "...A stunning climax of rejection, desperation, and intervention." - CanLit for Little Canadians

  • "This is a strong addition to the canon of literature in Canada that works within realms of sexual diversity and disability. A thought-provoking and compelling narrative that teenage fans of character-driven books will definitely enjoy." - Canadian Review of Materials