'Traveling Pants' party celebrates book

Writing is about loving the people around you in an unconditional way

Posted: Monday, July 25, 2005

About 15 girls and some parents sewed and glued on decorations to jeans Saturday at the Douglas library's "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" party.

Ann Brashares' popular juvenile-fiction book, published in 2001, also is known through a movie released this year. Brashares has since written two more books about the friendship of four teenage girls. There's even a newsletter.

In "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants," the girls discover than one pair of jeans fits all of them, though they have different builds. For emotional support, they send the jeans to each other over the summer while they are separated.

One girl visits relatives in Greece and has a flirtation.

"Sometimes I wish I could go to Greece and different places like that," said Shanae'a Moore, 12. "The movie kind of lived an exciting lie for you."

In an author's comment on her publisher's Web site, Brashares said the books are about loving the people around you in an unconditional way.

"Sometimes that means being honest and challenging with your friends - saying the hard things rather than taking the easy way," she wrote. "It's also about receiving that kind of love with grace."

Moore, who recently moved here from Texas, said she and her family loved the movie.

"It's really hard to find a kind of movie that makes you cry, laugh and want to dance," she said.

It's also hard for youths who are between childhood and the teenage years to find movies that suit them. The theaters show either horror movies or "Pooh's Heffalump," Moore said.

The party Saturday marks the Juneau Public Libraries' first effort to offer a program for older children. Teenagers aren't the storytime crowd, observed Amelia Jenkins, a member of the libraries' youth services staff.

The girls in the first novel are 15. The books attract readers a little younger than that, Jenkins said,

"The general rule is kids like books about kids a couple years older than themselves," she said. "They're thinking about what it is like to be 15. But they're good books. I liked them, too."

Katie Dimond, 12, and Summer Christiansen, 11, hadn't read the books or seen the movie, but they thought it would be fun to decorate their jeans. They met at the party.

Christiansen, who recently moved here from Nebraska, said she likes to read and likes libraries. She already has a stack of books to read, and even the latest Harry Potter title will just have to wait.

Writing on clothes is more popular with youths than sewing ribbons on them, the girls said, but both were busy with needle and thread Saturday.

"It was hard to bring a pair of jeans," Christiansen said. "Man, I love these jeans so much."

• Eric Fry can be reached at eric.fry@juneauempire.com.

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