women forming heart gestures during daytime

Synopsis of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

Lena, Tibby, Bridget, and Carmen are best friends. They have never spent a summer apart until this one. The pants are just an ordinary pair of pants, yet they fit all four of them perfectly. This is the story of how these pants become traveling pants. Welcom to the sisterhood of the traveling pants.

Pants = love. Love your pals. Love yourself.

Disclosure: I am an Amazon affiliate. If you click on a link and decide to buy something, I will get pennies for referring you. This in no way changes the price for you. It just helps me make a bit for doing what I love.

First Impressions

blue denim jeans

I remember reading The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants back in high school and was excited to read it again for all of you. Overall, it has a great message about growing up through hard situations, and not putting yourself down. This is not an easy feel-good book. This book makes you face life head-on.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Parent Guide

Overall: PG-13 for adult content (I recommend ages 16+)
Violence: PG a fistfight breaks out
Language: PG a few mild swear words (less than 10)
Adult Content: PG-13 There is a skinny dipping scene and it is implied that one of the girls has sex. (see topics for more)
Reading Level: Grades 7-12

Touchy Topics in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

women forming heart gestures during daytime
Photo by Melissa Askew on Instant Images
  • Death: Figuring out how to deal with a recent death and how to still deal with it years later is explored.
  • Sex & Lust: **Spoiler alert ** one of the girls has sex. There isn’t a scene, just kissing and then the morning after. She realizes that she was way too young for the experience and lusting after someone is different from sleeping with them. A few of the others discover crushes. Each crush fizzles out or grows and all confront their feelings. 
  • Step-Families: This book explores the dynamics of starting a new blended family and the rocky patches of anger, abandonment, and not feeling accepted.
  • Negligent Parents: One set of parents don’t know what is happening in their daughter’s life. She also feels bypassed by the other younger siblings. 
  • Introvert vs extrovert: The difference in personality types is talked about and how everyone has difficulties.
  • Misinformation: Misinformation and not correcting assumptions leads to a huge misunderstanding. Eventually, it gets straightened out but emotions are very heated at first.
  • Body image: Each girl deals with different body image issues: one is too pretty and has trust issues, one is too (fill in a race) and feels like she is constantly sticking out in a bad way, etc. 


Maybe the truth is, there’s a little bit of loser in all of us. Being happy isn’t having everything in your life be perfect. Maybe it’s about stringing together all the little things.

― Ann Brashares, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

Maybe, sometimes, it’s easier to be mad at the people you trust because you know they’ll always love you, no matter what.”

― Ann Brashares, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

Don’t talk to me. I’m tired and grumpy and I’ll probably make fun of you.

― Ann Brashares, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

My Thoughts about The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

a person cries

This book brought out all the feels or me. There area lot of harsh life-changing circumstances that each of them goes through during this summer. Each chapter is from a different perspective. The story is very well written yet very down-to-earth. With this set of characters, I don’t see another way that their stories could have gone and still been genuine and authentic. It’s good but I don’t recommend it for young teens. Wait until they are 16 or 17. 

If you are looking for an easy light read, find a different book. This one makes you struggle and feel all the growing pains with the main characters, but we aren’t wearing the pants to help us.

What to Read Next?

There are more books in this series by Ann Brashares. The second book is The Second Summer of the Traveling Pants. If you enjoyed this but are looking for something a little less gritty and more PG check out Hope Harbor.

Happy Reading!