The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants book cover

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Mature Teen)
By Ann Brashares

A pair of pants purchased at a second-hand store is the connection four friends, separated for the first time, have when they spend the summer apart. With the almost magical ability of making the wearer feel thin and beautiful, the worn-out denim jeans are the catalyst to each girl's summer adventure.


Contemporary, Friendship, Humor, Familial Issues, Societal Issues, Coming of Age

Why this is a Good Book For Teenage Girls

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is a good book for teenage girls because it's a look into contemporary teen life, the worries, choices, dilemmas, interests, pressures and most of all friendships. Brashares's characters are real teens struggling, laughing and living. A perfect book for the teen who loves stories that represent current issues, strong relationships, moral dilemmas and contemporary teen humor as well as angst.

Carmen got the jeans at a thrift shop. They didn’t look all that great: they were worn, dirty, and speckled with bleach. On the night before she and her friends part for the summer, Carmen decides to toss them. But Tibby says they’re great. She'd love to have them. Lena and Bridget also think they’re fabulous. Lena decides that they should all try them on. Whoever they fit best will get them. Nobody knows why, but the pants fit everyone perfectly. Even Carmen (who never thinks she looks good in anything) thinks she looks good in the pants. Over a few bags of cheese puffs, they decide to form a sisterhood and take the vow of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants . . . the next morning, they say good-bye. And then the journey of the pants — and the most memorable summer of their lives — begins.

About the Author

Ann Brashares lives in New York City with her husband and three young children.

From Publishers Weekly

A pair of jeans purchased at a thrift store is the unlikely bond that keeps four best friends emotionally connected during the first summer that they spend physically apart. This clever (if initially hokey-sounding) premise sets the course for four intertwined, compelling coming-of-age stories. Carmen doesn't think much of the pants she buys for $3.49, until she and her pals discover their magical quality. The jeans which fit each girl perfectly despite their very different body types serve as a surrogate friend for Tibby, Carmen, Lena and Bridget as they wrestle with new issues of first love, jealousy, fear and sadness in the months before their junior year of high school. Each girl has a turn with the pants, then sends them on to the next person in the rotation; by summer's end, when the friends are reunited, the jeans will be the symbol of what the girls have experienced. Goethals sounds every bit the teenager here, but her sometimes halting reading never quite captures the crackle of Brashares's writing style. In Goethals's command, the author's snappy asides and retorts occasionally sound cumbersome rather than humorous or biting, as they were intended. Many teen girls will likely take these shortcomings in stride and get lost in a story that speaks to them. Ages 12-up. Simultaneous release with Delacorte hardcover, reviewed in Children's Forecasts July 6.
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