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Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Books In Order

Publication Order of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Books

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2001) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Second Summer of the Sisterhood (2003) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Girls in Pants (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Keep in Touch (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Forever in Blue (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
3 Willows (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Sisterhood Everlasting (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Sisterhood of Traveling Pants is a series of Young Adult Fiction novels by popular American author Ann Brashares. The first novel in the series, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, published in 2005, is the series’ most popular novel going on to become a bestseller. Initially intended to be a freestanding novel, the popularity of the first novel saw Brashare get back to her desk churning out four more titles, two box sets, an official scrapbook, and a book of letters and notes on the series. The book features four protagonists; Carmen, Tibby, Lena, and Bridget, who are held together by bonds of friendship developed right from childhood to the end of the series. Over the course of the series, the girls meet in the summer which serves as a point if reflection of their development and challenges. Such instances include the last summer before going to high school, first summer in high school, summer before going to college, and one last summer together. Even as the series has a carefree feel, it tackles some of the very important themes in a young girl’s life. Using the symbol of an all-fitting pant Brashare eloquently highlights the main theme of the importance and the uniqueness of friendships formed during the early years. Other important aspects of the novels include their coming of age as represented by the yearly summer meetings, the importance of family, and the search for and developing understanding of love.

The beginning of the series sees four girls spend a day together before departing for high school. Friends since childbirth since their mothers had all shared prenatal classes, the girls have a strong bond with each other. The summer before they leave home for a new adventure as high school students, the girls spend the summer together. It happens that Carmen has just bought a pair of old pants from the thrift shop, which she does not particularly like. But the thing is, when each of the friends tries it on, they find that it fits perfectly despite the fact that they are of different body sizes. For the teenagers, the all-fitting pants are a representation of something magical. They call the pants “traveling pants” and begin a tradition of meeting each summer before a major milestone in their lives. Even as the pants fit the girls perfectly, the girls could not be any more different with each girl having a different disposition and personality. Carmen is soft spoken, introspective, and loving, Tibby is confident, sarcastic, and judgmental, Lena is self-conscious, shy, and quiet, while Bridget is adventurous, high-spirited, and more daring than any of her friends.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pant achieved a lot of success right from the first novel in the series. The girls’ unique family situations and personalities, enviable friendship, magic pants, and the author’s perfect portrayal of their feelings and experiences is so refreshing that it is no wonder that the novels have been on the New York Times bestseller list. The first novel in the series has won many rave reviews and awards over the years as well as being adopted into a movie. In 2005, the novel was made into a movie starring Amber Tamblyn, Blake Lively, America Ferrara, and Alexis Bledel. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants success can also be tied to its tackling of serious issues including growing up, friendship, and sexuality. Brashares expert tackling of such issues have led to comparisons with the work of popular adult fiction writers such as Judy Blume, who also tackles adolescent experiences of teenage girls. The have also been comparisons with J.K Rowling of the Harry Potter series, given how much she has captured the interest of adult and children alike.

The award winning first novel of the series, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants introduces us to the four protagonists and the magic pants that give the series its name. After Carmen got a pair of jeans from a flea market, she finds that they are speckled with bleach, dirty and worn. On the eve of her departure for high school, she decides to throw away the pants. However, her friend Libby loves them and asks that Carmen give them to her. Bridget and Lena also think the jeans look awesome and want to try them on. The decision is made that the one that gets the best fit gets to keep them. Surprisingly, the jeans fit all the girls perfectly even with their different size bodies. Even Carmen who was ready to throw away the pants finds them to be a great fit. As they crunch a bag of cheese puffs, they decide that maybe the pants are a sign. They decide to form a sisterhood where they would meet every summer, and send the pants to each other in turn as a form of charm.

In a sequel to the first novel to The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Bridget, Carmen, Lena and Tibby are back for The Second Summer of the Sisterhood. The four girls cannot wait to try on the jeans on another summer where they have had the time and opportunity to accumulate new experiences. While it is a different kind of book from the first, any fan will not find this a disappointment. The girls are a year older and full of changes brought about by their growing horizons and perspectives. Bridget decides that she would rather spend her holiday with her long estranged grandmother over in Alabama as her hometown still has too many memories of her recent breakup with her long time boyfriend. She feels that time away from home will help her rejuvenate her love for soccer and rediscover herself. Carmen first date is ruined when she finds that her mother is back on the dating scene, and has even tried on the magic pants of the sisterhood. Tibby heads to film camp where she hopes the Pants will be of help in determining who is a true friend and who is a phony in her quest to fit in. Lena falls in love all over again when her Greek boyfriend Kostos, surprises her by coming to America. Her mother also tells her that she had gone through a similar breakup in her youth, which still haunts her to this day. All of the girls now need to have the Pants if they are to continue to grow and fulfill their unique destinies.

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