2002, first published 2001
The traveling pants of the title are a pair of jeans bought from a charity. The four friends, Bridget Carmen, Lena and Tibby pass them on to each other during a long summer in which each of the girls grows up a little. So, we approach the bildungsroman of the young adult.
Bridget embarks on a forbidden relationship with an older boy a coach at her summer camp. Carmen behaves badly when she is confronted with her father’s new family. The beautiful but rather shy Lena causes a misunderstanding between her and Kostos, the grandson of friends of her grandparents. Tibby works at Wallman’s and befriends Bailey, a younger girl who is dying of leukaemia.
The pants develop a spiritual quality and bring luck and meaningfulness to each girl as she wears them
Each chapter contains glimpse of each of the girls and is headed by a quote usually from literature though there is also a quote from a bumper sticker.
The book is 304 pages long. The chapters are quite short. The text is blocked and in an adult serif font. Other fonts are used for had-written notes, giving each girl a different sort of handwriting.