Sick Bay by Nova Weetman
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.