The Barnes & Noble Review
Those popular pants are back for another summer in Ann Brashares's second friendship-affirming book!
The four girls who starred in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants -- Tibby, Bee, Lena, and Carmen -- find themselves wrapped up in a summer of unexpected surprises. After Bee finds out that five years' worth of Grandma's letters to her have been kept secret, she leaves for Alabama on a mission to connect with her past, which also means dealing with her mom's death. Meanwhile, Tibby's decided to attend a filmmaking workshop in Virginia (she's getting a perspective on Bailey's death), and Carmen's at home, screwing up her mom's dating life and then putting it back together. And as for Lena, well, she's busy getting over Kostos -- that is, until he shows up for a surprise visit. But despite whatever happens to this foursome, the Pants find their way into the hands of one of them at just the right time.
As uplifting as a cool breeze on a hot day, Brashares's second summer is even better than the first. The four heroines are learning about themselves and strengthening their bond as never before, and this time around, we get welcome insight into their relationship with the older women in their lives. This second installment is sure to have Sisterhood fans cheering. Shana Taylor
PW starred the launch title in the Traveling Pants series, which introduced four friends who share a magical pair of pants that fits all of their different sizes and shapes. PW called this second installment "equally authentic and engaging." Ages 12-up. (Dec.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Although the cover showed "happy" pants, most of the book was sad. It takes a really good book to leave you laughing one moment and crying the next. This book did just that. It is even better than the first book. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2003, Delacorte, 384p,
Teens' Top Ten nominator, age 13
In this 2004 special edition of the sequel to The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, readers are invited to take a sisterhood quiz, read the opening pages of Girls in Pants: The Third Summer of the Sisterhood, and enter a sweepstakes to win an advance copy of this third book in the best-selling series. During the second summer of the pants, Bridget, Carmen, Tibby, and Lena continue to believe in the power of their magical jeans but find that they bring unexpected results to each wearer. Bridget travels to Alabama to learn the truth about her troubled mother's past; Carmen experiences both jealousy and loss when her mother enters into a serious romantic relationship; Tibby travels to film camp and must face the demons that haunt her as a result of the death of a young friend; and Lena admits and pursues love only to lose it in the face of uncomfortable circumstances. Literally and symbolically, the jeans accompany the young protagonists on their adventures, nurturing understanding and awareness as they pass from hand to hand. They possess a power tied directly to the faith these young women hold in one another and, ultimately, themselves. As these characters work through their issues, they may feel lost and confused, but they know they are never alone. Although these teens deal with issues common to YA novelsidentity, romance, parental conflictBrashares' tale, with its lively characters, honest emotion, and wry wit, rises above the norm. 2003, Delacorte, Ages 12 to 17.
Wendy Glenn, Ph.D.
To quote from the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, March 2003: Another summer and more adventures for the four friendsBridget, Tibby, Carmen, and Lenawe met in the first book. Yes, the magical pants are still with them and are passed one to the other as the weeks pass by. The four are again separated and yet are constantly connected by e-mail, letters, and phone calls. Bridget is in the small Southern town where her mother grew upshe is hiding her identity and trying to get to know the woman who is her grandmother. Tibby is at a film camp at a local university, admiring a rather sophisticated fellow student and ashamed of her loyal friend Brian. Carmen is at home angry with her mother for falling in love and doing her best to sabotage that relationship. Lena has broken up with her boyfriend from last summer's trip to Greece, but Kostos appears unexpectedly on her doorstep and she is thrown back into the whirlpool of love. Like the style of the first book, the four stories of the four girls proceed at a fast clip, with their care for each other and the pants themselves connecting the four narratives. The author cuts from one narrative to the next neatly and cleanly; and the reader has no trouble feeling part of these four lives. Brashares manages this juggling act well. She also has great love for many other characters; for instance, the adults of the story are developed as full characters, especially the mothers. The girls are smart, thoughtful, introspective, resourceful, creative, and flawed. They can also be self-destructive, angry, jealous and deceitful. This is longer than most YA novels, and filled with conversations, action, and life. (A companion to TheSisterhood of the Traveling Pants). KLIATT Codes: JS*Exceptional book, recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2003, Random House, Delacorte, 373p., Ages 12 to 18.
The highest compliment one can pay an author is to eagerly await a sequel (to The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) and rush out to get it as soon as it comes out. As soon as The Second Summer of the Sisterhood was available, I stayed up almost all night reading it; I was so excited to see what happened next to the members of the sisterhood. As with Brashares's first book, this one would be appropriate for seventh grade and up. The romance this time around is a little more racy, so there is more potentially objectionable material, but it is very tasteful and not at all gratuitous. As the book opens, the girls are approaching another summer, and they have all that they learned the previous summer to build on. Unfortunately, and as in real life, they continue to make the same mistakes and are in constant need of help from their friends to press on and continue to try in spite of disappointments and heartbreak for all of them. They all come to new revelations. Tibby discovers that she loves her family, Carmen learns to deal with her anger, Bridget discovers herself and is able to move beyond her mother's suicide, and Lena allows herself vulnerability. 2003, Delacorte Press, 373 pp., Ages young adult.
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-Carmen, Lena, Tibby, and Bee are back in this long, engaging sequel to The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Delacorte, 2001). The four best friends are beginning their 16th summer with new expectations for personal growth, romance, and deepening friendship, all enhanced by the magic of a shared pair of thrift-store jeans. Brashares has deftly interwoven the story's strands to convey the relaxed intimacy of the girls' friendships as well as the many parallels in their individual experiences. The dialogue is natural and helps build nuances of character; the use of metaphor and insightful language renders a narrative that is highly readable and marked by emotional truth. Bee, whose mother died when she was 11, heads to Alabama under an assumed name to visit her estranged maternal grandmother. Carmen and Lena both become entangled in emotional spats with their mothers, and Tibby makes an edgy documentary film about her mother for a screenwriting course. This is a summer for coming-of-age, and for people materializing out of the blue, but making an impact-Tibby's old friend Brian appears unbidden at her dorm; Lena's Greek boyfriend, Kostos, arrives suddenly; and Carmen's stepsister comes seeking sanctuary. Meanwhile, the traveling pants are circulated among the friends. It may just be the power of wonder, but the jeans undoubtedly play a role in the happy resolution of this big-hearted, complex tale of living, learning, and caring. Brashares's novel can be enjoyed by readers who have not yet discovered the previous book. It is certain to delight those readers who have.-Susan W. Hunter, Riverside Middle School, Springfield, VT Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Four friends and a pair of jeans are back to continue the saga of the traveling pants. Bridget goes back to Alabama in search of her mother's past; Lena rekindles a romance with Kostos, the boy she met in Greece; Carmen fears for her place in the family when her mother starts dating; and Tibby goes away to a summer film program, where putting together a film becomes a way to put together her life. Though the young women deal with love, death, and change in various ways, the old, magical jeans are always there to remind them that sometimes friends are closer than family. The prologue fills in what's necessary for those uninitiated into the sisterhood, and Brashares adeptly balances the four story lines. The characters seem like old friends, and the author's sure ear for dialogue and her empathy for her protagonists' complicated emotions creates a story as comfortable as an old pair of jeans. A big, complex, satisfying sequel, sure to add to the author's legions of fans. (Fiction. YA)
Read an Excerpt
0nce there were four girls who shared a pair of pants. The girls were all different sizes and shapes, and yet the pants fit each of them.
You may think this is a suburban myth. But I know it's true, because I am one of them-one of the sisters of the Traveling Pants.
We discovered their magic last summer, purely by accident. The four of us were splitting up for the first time in our lives. Carmen had gotten them from a second-hand place without even bothering to try them on. She was going to throw them away, but by chance, Tibby spotted them. First Tibby tried them; then me, Lena; then Bridget; then Carmen.
By the time Carmen pulled them on, we knew something extraordinary was happening. If the same pants fit-and I mean really fit-the four of us, they, aren't ordinary. They don't belong completely to the' world of things you can see and touch. My sister, Effie, claims I don't believe in magic, and maybe I didn't then. But after the first summer of the Traveling Pants, I do.
The Traveling Pants are not only the most beautiful pair of jeans that ever existed, they are kind, comforting, and wise. And also they make you look really good.
We, the members of the Sisterhood, were friends before the Traveling Pants. We've known each other since before we were born. Our mothers were all in the same pregnancy aerobics class, all due in early September. I feel this explains something about us. We all have in common that we got bounced on our fetal heads too much.
We were all born within seventeen days of each other, first me, a little early, in the end of August, and last Carmen, a little late, in the middle of September. You know how people make a big deal about which twin was born three minutes before the other one? Like it matters? Well, we're like that. We draw great significance from the fact that I'm the oldest-the most mature, the most maternal -and Carmen is the baby.
Our mothers started out being close. We had a group play date running at least three days a week until we started kindergarten. They called themselves the Septembers and eventually passed that name down to us. Our mothers would gab in whoever's yard it was, drinking iced tea and eating cherry tomatoes. We would play and play and play and occasionally fight. Honestly, I remember my friends' mothers almost as well as my own from that time.
We four, the daughters, reminisce about it sometimes- we look back on that period as a golden age., Gradually, as we grew, our mothers' friendship disintegrated. Then Bee's mother died. A giant hole was left, and none of them knew how to bridge it. Or maybe they just didn't have the courage.
The word friends doesn't seem to stretch big enough to describe how we feel about each other. We forget where one of us starts and the other one stops. When Tibby sits next to me in the movies, she bangs her heel against my shin during the funny or scary parts. Usually I don't even notice until the bruise blooms the next day. In history class Carmen absently grabs the loose, pinchy skin at my elbow. Bee rests her chin on my shoulder when I'm trying to show her something on the computer, clacking her tee& together when I turn to explain something. We step on, each other's feet a lot. (And, okay, I do have large feet.)
Before the Traveling, Pants we didn't know how to e~, together when we were apart. We didn't realize that we, are bigger and stronger and longer than the time we spend together. We learned that the first summer.
And all year long-, we waited and wondered what the second summer would bring. We learned to drive. We tried to care about our schoolwork and our PSATs. Effie fell in love (several times), and I tried to fall out of it. Brian became a regular fixture at Tibby's house, and she, wanted to talk about Bailey less and less. Carmen and Paul evolved from stepsiblings to friends. We all kept ue nervous, loving eyes on Bee.
While we did our thing, the Pants lived quietly in the top of Carmen's closet. They were summer Pants -that's what we had all agreed on. We had always marked our lives by summers. Besides, with the no-washing rule, we didn't want to overuse them. But not a day of fall, winter, or spring went by when I didn't think about them, curled up in Carmen's closet, safely gathering their magic for when we needed them again.
This summer began differently than the last. Except for Tibby, who'd be going to her film program at a college in Virginia, we thought we'd be staying home. We were all excited to see how the Pants worked when they weren't traveling.
But Bee never met a plan she didn't like to change. So from the start, our summer did not go the way we expected.
From the Hardcover edition.