In the middle school world of social development, Meg and Riley are managing big issues that should put the everyday ones of most kids into perspective. Meg’s mother has retreated into her own world after the death of Meg’s father and she has been left to manage her life alone. She can hide her hunger but having to resort to wearing her slippers to school leaves her no choice but to hide in sick bay.
Riley has type 1 diabetes. The bum bag that she wears with an insulin line to her stomach is discreet, but it rules her life. She has been accepted into the popular group at her new school but is struggling to keep up with them and stay healthy at the same time.
The two girls are regulars in sick bay and as their awareness of each other develops, a friendship emerges. In contrast to Meg’s situation, Riley’s mother is fiercely protective but we can see that despite each girl’s slight envy of the other’s situation, the grass is not greener.
This is a story of friendship and self-discovery. I loved every moment of it and can’t wait to tell our seniors all about it.
Title: Sick Bay
Author: Nova Weetman
Illustrator: Sandra Eterovic
Publisher: University of Queensland Press
ISBN: 978 0 7022 6032 2
Date of Publication: June 2019
Reviewer: Kirsten Puddick, Librarian, Holy Cross School, Miramar, Wellington
How are you recommending this book? Highly recommended
Opening sentence: My current best friend is a brown paper bag that has a slight crease in the corner.
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