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The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

by

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Cover

 

 

Reading Group Guide

1. The novel opens and closes with a first-person narrative by Carmen. Why do you think the author selected this character to frame the story? If you could change it, would you select another character, and if so, what would he or she say? Or do you think Carmens is the best viewpoint to begin and end the novel?

2. “For some reason our lives were marked by summers. . . . Summer was the time when our lives joined completely, when we all had our birthdays, when really important things happened” (p. 5). What is the significance of the Sisterhoods first summer apart? Why is it so important that the four friends have individual adventures? Do you think they would have remained close if the Pants had not been a part of their lives?

3. Of the four girls, whom are you the most like? The most different from?

4. Epigraphs (short quotations) from a variety of sources—song lyrics, remarks by real-life personalities, fictitious sayings by the novels characters—are used to separate sections of the book. Which one is your favorite and why?

5. Carmens discovery of a new blond stepfamily comes as quite a shock. How could her father have better handled this news? Would it have made a difference to Carmen?

6. In the movie Its a Wonderful Life, George Bailey sees what the world would have been like had he not been born. Author Ann Brashares has said that the character of Bailey was inspired by this film. How would Tibbys life have been different if she had not met Bailey?

7. Lena is described as quite beautiful. How do you think this affects her friendships? Have you ever been friends with someone who is noticeably more or less attractive than you are? How did it make you feel?

8. Bridget feels powerful as she pursues Eric, but her actions leave her fragile and uncertain. Do you think that by the end of the story, Bridget is able to take back some of her power? Why or why not? What role do you think Bridgets friends will play in her recovery?

9. In the novel, the Pants take on a life of their own. Each of the girls in turn feels loved and comforted by them, as if the Pants were a creature or a person. Do you believe that the Pants are really looking out for the girls? Or is what the girls sense a manifestation of their own emotions? Or is it some combination of the two?

10. Each of the girls is very different from her friends and has widely ranging talents: Lena is a painter, Tibby is a filmmaker, Bridget is an athlete. But their talents dont define them so much as send them off in different directions. Carmen is more of an enigma; what would you say her talents are and where do they take her in the novel?

11. If you were given the Pants, what rule governing their use would be the hardest for you to keep? Rule 10 is “Remember: Pants = love. Love your pals. Love yourself” (p. 25). How is this rule observed by each member of the Sisterhood in the story? How is it broken?

12. In the epilogue (p. 293), Carmen says, “What happened in front of my friends felt real. What happened to me by myself felt partly dreamed, partly imagined, definitely shifted and warped by my own fears and wants.” Have you ever felt that way? How does it feel to see yourself reflected in other people?

13. The novels settings are varied—Baja California, Greece, South Carolina, and Maryland. By the end of the book, each of the girls has had a revelation that has a lot to do with where she has been. If you could spend a summer in one of these places, which would you choose? If you could spend a summer anywhere in the world, where would you go? Would you want your friends with you or would you rather travel solo?

14. What does Carmen mean when she says that she, Lena, Tibby, and Bridget are the real Septembers (p. 7)? What is it about their friendship that convinces Carmen they wont drift apart the way their mothers did? Fast-forward ten years . . . do you think the Sisterhood will still be inseparable? What are the bonds that will help their friendship endure? Will the Pants still fit them? If not, will it matter?

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 6 comments:

bookgirl94, September 1, 2011 (view all comments by bookgirl94)
This is a great beginning to an amazing series. It's the start of a friendship that will continue for the rest of their lives and for a few more books. It's a fun book from each friend's point of view as they do different things for the summer. It's a fun and entertaining book.
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bookgirl94, September 1, 2011 (view all comments by bookgirl94)
This is a great beginning to an amazing series. It's the start of a friendship that will continue for the rest of their lives and for a few more books. It's a fun book from each friend's point of view as they do different things for the summer. It's a fun and entertaining book.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
truelove_waits22, May 15, 2007 (view all comments by truelove_waits22)
I think this book is very cool. I think that if you read this book you will find out that where every you are your friends will be there for you!!!!
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(11 of 22 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780385730587
Author:
Brashares, Ann
Publisher:
Ember
Location:
New York
Subject:
Friendship
Subject:
Children's 12-Up - Fiction - General
Subject:
Social Situations - Friendship
Subject:
Social Situations - Adolescence
Subject:
Conduct of life
Subject:
Children's 12-Up - Sociology
Subject:
Best friends
Subject:
Jeans (Clothing)
Subject:
Jeans
Subject:
Social Issues - Adolescence
Subject:
Social Issues - Friendship
Subject:
Situations / Friendship
Subject:
Girls & Women
Subject:
Children s Young Adult-Social Issue Fiction-Friendship
Subject:
Children s Young Adult-Social Issue Fiction
Subject:
fiction;young adult;friendship;ya;coming of age;teen;summer;romance;chick lit;girls;friends;realistic fiction;travel;pants;movie;jeans;family;greece;death;love;relationships;sisterhood;sisterhood of the traveling pants;young adult fiction;growing up;high
Subject:
fiction;young adult;friendship;ya;coming of age;teen;summer;romance;chick lit;girls;friends;realistic fiction;travel;pants;movie;jeans;family;greece;death;love;relationships;sisterhood;sisterhood of the traveling pants;young adult fiction;growing up;high
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
Series Volume:
no. 272
Publication Date:
20030331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 7
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
8.18x5.52x.72 in. .60 lbs.
Age Level:
from 12

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Related Subjects


Young Adult » Fiction » Social Issues » Adolescence
Young Adult » Fiction » Social Issues » Friendship
Young Adult » Fiction » Teen Series
Young Adult » General

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.50 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers - English 9780385730587 Reviews:
"Review" by , "The loving depiction of enduring and solid friendship will ring true to readers, who will appreciate this recognition of one of life's most important relationships."
"Review" by , "Brashares deftly moves from narrative to narrative, weaving together themes from the mundane to the profoundly important, from death to raging hormones, from stepfamilies to dead-end minimum-wage jobs....A complex book about a solid group of friends, with each one a strong and courageous individual in her own right."
"Review" by , "Debut novelist Brashares renders each girl individual and lovable in her own right, emphasizing growing up without growing apart. Move over, Ya Ya Sisters."
"Review" by , "First novelist Brashares successfully creates four distinct characters, each with her own story line, and ties them together with a creative device: a pair of pants purchased in a thrift shop....Their bonds, combined with a realistic portrayal of teen emotions (Tibby is embarrassed by the smock she has to wear to work at Wallman's, while Carmen boils with rage when the seamstress fitting her bridesmaid dress disparages her curvy figure), make for an outstanding and vivid book that will stay with readers for a long time. Readers will hope that Brashares chronicles the sisterhood for volumes to come. Ages 12-up."
"Review" by , "This tale of four teenage girls and a magic pair of bluejeans they find and share one summer has resonated far more deeply than any of the grown-up novels I've read this year."
"Review" by , "Young teens will identify with one, or even all four, of these interesting, funny young women, and they'll be on the lookout for their own pair of traveling pants."
"Synopsis" by , “Funny, perceptive, and moving,” raved USA Today of the first  novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series by Ann Brashares, author of The Here and Now.

Some friends just fit together.

 

Once there was a pair of pants. Just an ordinary pair of jeans. But these pants, the Traveling Pants, went on to do great things. This is the story of the four friends—Lena, Tibby, Bridget, and Carmen—who made it possible.

 

 “An outstanding and vivid book that will stay with readers for a long time.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred, Flying Start

 

 “The loving depiction of enduring and solid friendship will ring true to readers.” —The Bulletin, Recommended

 

 “A feel-good novel of substance.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred

 

“Uplifting.” —Seventeen

Pants = love. Love your pals. Love yourself.

"Synopsis" by , 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 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 now the journey of the pants– and the most memorable summer of their lives–begins.
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