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Free Online Study Guide for The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants-Book Summary
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Title: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

Author: Ann Brashares

Date Published: 2001

Meaning of the Title: It refers to the friendship of four girls that is more deeply forged by a pair of jeans that seem to fit them all in a magical way.

Genre: Young Adult: Inspirational; Coming-of-age.

Setting: Suburban Washington, D.C., specifically Georgetown and Bethesda (including such places as Wallman’s Pharmacy and the 7-Eleven); Baja, California; Oia, Greece; and Charleston, South Carolina

Protagonists: Tibby, Carmen, Lena, and Bridget

Antagonist: The inner issues that each girl must face the first time they are separated from each other for any length of time

Mood: At times, the mood is very sad as each of the four girls comes to term with bad choices they have made; at other times, it is amusing and sarcastic; finally, it is triumphant when all four face their demons and grow as a result.

Point of View: First person when Carmen introduces the story and concludes it; third person omniscent in all the other chapters

Tense: This story is written in the past tense since Carmen tells it in flashback in the prologue and epilogue. However, the events in the other chapters are also in the past tense.

Rising Action: It begins right after the Prologue and continues through the events of the summer for all four girls until each faces her problems and comes home once more to her friends.

Exposition: Tibby, Carmen, Lena, and Bridget are four girls who have been friends since they were babies. The summer after their sophomore year, they all choose to spend the time away for the first summer ever apart. Each is afraid in some way of the new world they’re about to enter, so the discovery that a special pair of blue jeans fits them all in an amazing way. The magic of the jeans prompts them to form a sisterhood that will unite them forever. Then, in the process of spending a summer apart, each meets people and has experiences that change them forever.

Climax: Tibby comes to turns with her friend, Bailey’s death; Carmen goes to her father’s wedding even though she been determined not to; Lena works up the courage to tell Kostos she really likes him; and Bridget goes home with Lena as her support.

Outcome: The girls meet again at Gilda’s to renew their friendship and write their experiences on the Traveling Pants. They outline to each other all they have learned over the summer and face their next year at school with the knowledge that they have each other no matter what.

Major Theme: Friendship, Loyalty, and Love for Each Other

Minor Themes: Consequences of the Choices We Make; Life’s Simple Pleasures

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