The SisterHood of the Traveling Pants

Themes

Autumn
1. SisterHood of the Traveling Pants
Ann Brashares
Delacorte press
New York, NY
Copyright 2001
o Ann Brashares grew up in Chevy Chase, Maryland with her three brothers and attended a Quaker school in the DC area called Sidwell Friends. She studied Philosophy at Barnard College, part of Columbia University in New York City. Expecting to continue studying philosophy in graduate school, Ann took a year off after college to work as an editor, hoping to save money for school. Loving her job, she never went to graduate school, and instead, remained in New York City and worked as an editor for many years. Last year, Ann made the transition from editor to full-time writer and wrote her first novel, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. I think see was qualified to write this book because she was young once too, and probably went through some of the same things that these girls went through. We learn a lot form our friends.
o It all started when a girl named Carmen picked up a pair of pants from the local thrift store. She didnt buy them to wear she bought them to show that she was not embarrassed to shop at a second hand store. When she got them home she invited over all of her friends. She wanted to get rid of the pants so she asked her friend Tibby if she wanted them. So she tried them on. They looked great on her. They fit every curve, but she wasnt sure of them so she got her other friend Lena to try them on. She tried them on, and they snuggled up against her right where they should be. It was weird though because Lena and Tibby had completely different body shapes. Lena slender and beautiful and Tibby short and average. Then they made Bridget try them on. They clung to her hips so perfect, and gracefully fell to the tops of her shoes. They began to think the pants were magic, but to make sure, they made Carmen try them on even though they were her pants. Carmen was short, and had a big butt. It was hard for her to find pants because she couldnt get them up. She slipped on the pants, and they made her look like a super star. There was no doubt from then on that the pants were magic. That night the girls made rules for the pants. The rules were;
o You must never wash the pants.
o You must never double cuff the pants. Its tacky. There will never be a time when this will not be tacky.
o You must never say the word phat while wearing the pants. You must also never think I am fat while wearing the pants.
o You must never let a boy take off the pants (Although you may take them off your self in his presence).
o You must not pick your nose while wearing the pants. You may, however, scratch casually at your nostril while really kind of picking.
o Upon our reunion, you must follow the proper procedures for documenting your time in the pants.
o You must write to your sisters thorough out the summer, no matter how much fun youre having without them.
o You must pass the pants along to you sister according to the specifications set done by the sisterhood. Failure to comply will result in a severe spanking upon our reunion.
o You must not wear the pants with a tucked-in shirt and belt. See rule #2.
o Remember: pants=love. Love your pals. Love yourself.
The girls were going to be separated for the summer, so they decided that Lena should get the pants first. She was off to Rome for the summer. When Lena got there her grandma threw a party for her and her little sister Effie. Lenas grandma wanted to hook Lena up with a guy named Kostos. He had looks to die for, but Lena blew him off. One day when Lena was out painting by the river, she got hot, and wanted to take a dip in the water. There was no one around so she slipped off her close and dove in. She heard something in the bushes, and stood up. It was Kostos. She ran out of the water, threw on her clothes, and stormed home. When she got there she told her grandma that Kostos was a mean boy. Lenas grandma automatically thought that Kostos had done something terrible. Lenas grandpa marched over to Kostoss house, and got in a fight with Kostoss grandpa. Lena felt terrible. A while later she told her grandma what had really happened. Everything went back to how it used to be accept now Lena was the one pursuing Kostos. It took Lenas little sister Effie to give Lena the courage to tell Kostos that she really liked him. Effie showed Lena how to be brave. Once Lenas time was up with the pants she sent them on to Tibby.


Tibby was the only one that hadnt left that summer. She stayed home and worked at a shopping market called Willmans. One day when she was working a young girl crashed into the display she had just setup, and sent antiperspirants flying in every direction. Tibby rushed over to the girl, and tried to help her. She got out the girls wallet not knowing what else to do. Then the ambulance came, and Tibby went with the girl. She found out that the girls name was Bailey, and she had leukemia. The next day Tibby realized she still had the girls wallet so she went to return it. When she went up to the girls room the girl accused her of stealing her wallet. Tibby got mad, but tried to be nice considering that the girl was sick and all. Well some how or an other the 2 became friends, and started making a documentary for no apparent reason. They just interviewed people they thought would be interesting. At first Tibby didnt accept all the different people they were talking to, but Bailey showed her that everyone had something good about them. One day when Tibby was at work she waited for Bailey to show up, but she never did. Bailey was sick in the hospital. The leukemia was taking her over. Tibby went home. She turned to her guinea pig for comfort, but her little sole had left her some time during the day. Tibby just couldnt let her go, so she put her guinea pig in a bag, and put her in the freezer hoping for advancements in science that could bring her back. Tibby wouldnt get out of bed even though Bailey kept calling form the hospital hoping that Tibby would come by. Carmen came home early from her fathers for the summer, and got Tibby out of bed into the magic pants, and made her visit bailey. Later that week Bailey finally quiet fighting, and let go. All the people they had interviewed were at the funeral. Bailey showed Tibby to love life, and the people around her. That night when Tibby got home she went and buried her guinea pig.

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Carmen was the third one to receive the pants. She was staying with her father, who she only got to see once a year. She was so happy for it just to be her and her dad, but when she got to his house, there were other people inside who shed never meet. Her father introduced his new fianc, and her two kids. Carmen was so mad. This was not her father any more. She got so mad at her new family that she ran back home. When she got there she called her father, and cried on the phone with him. Then she finally realized that she still had her father, and some new people to get to know. So she pulled her courage together, and went to her fathers wedding.


The last person to get the pants was Bridget. She was at a soccer camp. She fell deeply in love with one of the coaches named Eric. She pursued him all summer, then finally one night she got her chance to be with him. They went down to the beach. That was the night that Bridget lost her virginity. Bridget new that if any one found out what had happened between her and Eric then they would both be in big trouble. Sleeping with Eric made Bridget slip into depression. She didnt know how she felt. Her feelings were completely mixed. Because of Eric she didnt play well in soccer and her team lost the championship. Bridget didnt know what to do. So on Lenas way home; she stopped in LA at Bridgets camp and helped her figure herself back out. Bridget conquered her depression with a little help from a friend.


All the girls went through a lot of changes that summer that helped pave the way for their futures. They now know how to make better choices.


o The book was fiction, but it very well could be non-fiction if it wasnt for the magic pants. The rest of the story was pretty realistic.
o The story is told by the narrator from all the girls different points of view. The book jumped around form each girls life. Here is a part from the book when Bridget snuck out to go see Eric; like a ghost, she glided silently past his door. He wasnt asleep. He was sitting up. He saw her and got out of bed. She hopped off the small porch and walked through the palm trees to the wooded edge of the beach. He followed her shirtless, in his boxer shorts. He didnt have to follow her.
o There were 4 different settings for the story. For Lena it was in Greece. For Tibby if was in her home town of Washington DC. For Carmen it was at her fathers house some where below Washington DC and for Bridget it was in Los Angeles at a soccer camp. It was a very modern book, so Im guessing it was based around 2000.
o The title of the story The SisterHood of the Traveling Pants relates to the story because there friendship is woven carefully and tightly to form something that fits them all, and they make a sisterhood based on a pair of pants that travels with them.
o The characters are very believable, because they are like me and my friends. I think Im the Tibby, and Sienna is the Lena, and Sarah is the Carmen, and Stephanie is the Bridget without the sporty side. The story is like every girls life. Having to deal with growing pains, loss, sorrow, and letting go. A good example was when Bridget lost her virginity. I think that makes a lot of girls have unwelcome feelings that they just cant seem to figure out. An example from Carmen was when she did not want to accept that she wasnt the only girl in daddys life anymore. Everyone wants to be the favorite. With Lena, she had to accept that not all guys are jerks. Some guys actually like you for more then just looks. The last example was from Tibby. She lost many things, and she had to learn to let go.
All the conflicts were; mixed up feelings of lust from Bridget, having to accept change with Carmen, having to accept people with Lena, and having to let go with Tibby.


Some of the themes in the book were; growing pains like looking for independence, and for some one to love. Some other themes were loss of innocence like losing your virginity, loss of friends, and letting go.


One of the scenes I really remember was when Bridget snuck out to meet Eric. I think I liked it so much because she was chasing him from the first time she saw him, and I just had to see what was going to happen. Another scene I remember was when bailey died. Tragedies just get stuck in my mind. The scene just keeps playing over and over. Another part I remember was when Lena kissed Kostos. It was just so romantic. I want to be kissed like that.


I think this book will be a literacy classic as long as there are girls out there facing the same problems. This book teaches a good lesson to those who read it. I really got something out of it. Im glad youre making us do reports, because it saves me from making some of the mistakes that the other girls made.