Teens who loved Ann Brashares's The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
(2001) will cheer its equally riveting sequel The Second Summer of the Sisterhood
. As in the first novel, four teen girls who have known each other since birth (their moms shared a pregnancy aerobics class) further forge their bond of friendship through a pair of thrift-store jeans that magically, impossibly, fits them all perfectly.
Like the summer before, Carmen, Bridget, Tibby, and Lena share their individual adventures with the Pants collective, creating an engaging, kaleidoscopic narrative of four voices. This summer, Tibby attends a film program in Virginia and Bridget (Bee), whose mother has died, impulsively jets off to Alabama to get reacquainted with her estranged grandmother. Lovely Lena tries to protect herself from the heartbreak of loving her long-distance Greek god boyfriend Kostos, and Carmen deals (poorly) with her mother dating again and having the nerve to borrow the Pants!
The Second Summer, while breezy and fun to read, deals seriously with love lost and found, death, and finding the courage to live honestly. The teens' lessons are often painful, but the Sisterhood prevails. Quotations from luminaries such as Charlie Brown ("Nothing takes the taste out of peanut butter quite like unrequited love") to Nelson Mandela ("There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered") open each chapter and cleverly reflect the novel's many moods. (Ages 12 and older) --Karin Snelson
From School Library Journal
Grade 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
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--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.