Sick Bay

Nova Weetman

Sick Bay
University of Queensland Press
4 June 2019

Sick Bay

Nova Weetman

Two very different Grade 6 girls meet in their school sick bay.

Meg uses Sick Bay to hide from other kids. She’s struggling with changes at home, wears slippers to school and buries her head in books.

New girl Riley is a type 1 diabetic with an over-protective mother. She’d rather chat with her friends than go to Sick Bay, but sometimes she has no choice.

They think they’ve worked each other out, but what if they’ve got it all wrong?

On the brink of high school, Meg and Riley need a place where they can find the courage to be themselves.


In this beautifully written dual-narrative story, two very different Grade Six girls meet in sick bay at school. Meg mostly has to look after herself since her dad died and her mother has sunk into depression. In sick bay, she gets attention and food from the office lady. Riley is a diabetic but she’s trying to fit in with her cool, ‘mean girl’ friends. This means hiding the fact that she needs to regularly test her glucose levels and monitor everything she eats. If she doesn’t, she will get faint and nauseous.

Friendship between the two girls develops slowly, but when they are both asked to give a speech at their graduation they discover a lot about themselves, what ‘normal’ really means, and who their real friends are. This an emotionally intelligent novel by the author of The Secrets We Keep that will resonate powerfully in the hearts and minds of readers aged 10–13.

Angela Crocombe is the manager of Readings Kids.

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