Saturday, June 18, 2005

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares, 2001

I know that this series is immensely popular with my friends in junior high school. When I heard the movie was coming out I borrowed my daughter's copy to read.

Shopping for a swimsuit is the ultimate fashion terror but jeans shopping is a close second. Ann Brashare's has cleverly tapped into the female psyche by creating a magical pair of thrift store jeans that look fabulous on four friends who are different sizes and body types. The four girls are separating for their summer activities and decide the jeans are a talisman of luck that they will share during the coming months.

Tibby is working at the fictional Wallman's (think Walmart) for the summer and working on her documentary. Lena is traveling to Greece to stay with her grandparents. Carmen's parents are divorced so she is off to South Carolina for what she hopes will be some personal time with her father. Bridget is an athlete who is attending a soccer camp in Baja California and missing her deceased mother.

Each girl keeps the pants for a week before they mail them off to next “sister.” Things go wrong for all four girls but their letters and support for each other help them through their disappointments. It becomes a summer where the girls learn about themselves. The stories of Tibby and Carmen were very touching.

The magical pants are amazing but the book's success is due to junior high girls' yearnings to have a group of friends as kind, helpful and supportive. Hey, most folks would be happy with one dear friend like this. (Most of the girls I know like the 1st and third books the best.)

We saw the movie yesterday and really enjoyed it. There have been some modifications to the storyline for the big screen but the spirit of the book has translated well. The young actresses are excellent. My daughter has read all the books but her friend had not read any and enjoyed the movie equally. A good mother daughter outing, take a tissue or two.


Kelly said...

The "Sisterhood" and "Napoleon" are two phenomena I've missed in what I can only call the fog of my 2nd child's first 3 years. Thanks for the review. I think I'll read it.
My dad teaches high school AP courses and he says his geeky kids just love Napoloen. As I was one of those kids years ago, I think I should check it out.


Camille said...

Napoleon Dynamite is a sweet movie at its heart. Adjectives like weird and quirky are understatements but I love this movie.