Every time I ask my community what their biggest challenge is with raising girls, “friendships” inevitably comes up.  Which isn’t a great surprise – friendships can be tricky, particularly for girls. 

One of the best predictors of children’s wellbeing at school is the quality of their relationships. It makes sense that if they are happy in the playground, this will translate to the classroom and contribute to their all-round well-being.

If you’re  finding it difficult to help your daughter navigate friendship issues, this is the book you need.  Sick Bay by Nova Weetman is an uplifting story about friendship and acceptance. Girl friendships can be tricky to navigate and this book will help them understand what it means to be a “good” friend. My 9, 10 and 11-year-olds all LOVED this book. 


Sick Bay is a moving story about friendship, identity and learning how to accept who you are when you’re on the cusp of your teenage years. Nova Weetman is a terrific writer. Remember Judy Blume back in the ‘olden days? Nova Wheetman is a bit like her. She writes about relatable experiences in a warm and friendly tone.

Sick bay is the one place where Meg feels safe at school. There, she is free to be herself, away from stares and whispers and the fickleness of lost friendships. But when new girl Riley ends up in sick bay, too, Meg’s tiny kingdom of calm is overturned. She’s forced to engage with a girl who fits in everywhere and is welcomed by the kids who think cool and cruel are synonymous.

This is a gorgeous story of finding friendship in unlikely places. Of grief and mental illness. Of fitting in and not fitting in at school. Of class and status in the school grounds. Of managing chronic illness while navigating all of the above. 

Sick bay is raw, real and relatable. Perfect for girls aged 8-12. Sick Bay gets 5 stars from me!

You can purchase it from Book Depository

Or from Australia at Booktopia.

And if you’re looking for more book recommendations for girls you can check out this blog posts:

10 Great Books for Tween girls

10 books to boost your daughter’s confidence and self-esteem

Does your daughter love to read? What genres are her favourite?

* Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you click to purchase the item, I earn a little commission, but you don’t pay any extra.