• By: Keith Whittier

Book Review: Time Out

A teacher’s year of reading, fighting, and four-letter words

A book that asks the hard question: What has the education system done to help children suffering from mental health issues? What can we do? And how much spit can one person endure?

March 2014, TorontoTwenty-two years ago, Liane Shaw was a relatively inexperienced teacher who thought she had all the answers. Then she met them—a small group of boys, none of them past puberty, who would prove to be the biggest test of her working life, and change her attitude towards teaching forever.

When the neighboring classroom suddenly finds itself without a teacher, Liane was unexpectedly thrust into the dark underbelly of elementary school teaching. Walking into a classroom of cursing, spitting “behaviour boys” was certainly no picnic; let alone staying and teaching them for an entire year. Brilliantly told, by turns heartbreaking and hilariously funny, Liane holds nothing back as she recounts her year with the toughest and most troubled students—as she struggled to cope with only misinformation and limited resources as her guide.

Witty, touching, and truthful, Liane uses her gifts as a novelist to tell the often untold stories of the truly vulnerable amongst us. Readers will root for her to succeed, as invested in the success of these kids as she is. Liane Shaw’s wish in sharing her story is clear—that as adults we can help children with mental health issues heal and succeed, and that stories like this can be moved to the history shelf. Time Out is as relevant now as it was when Liane first started teaching.

Liane Shaw is the author of three novels for teens. Before becoming an author, Liane was an educator for more than 20 years, both in the classroom and as a special education resource teacher. She spent several years working with students with behavioral and emotional issues, and later became a consultant. Now retired from teaching, Liane lives with her family in the Ottawa Valley.

Second Story Press 
Emma Rodgers, (416) 537-7850, marketing@secondstorypress.ca
20 Maud Street Ste 401 • Toronto ON M5V 2M5 • 416-537-7850T • 416-537-0588F