Girls in Pants: The Third Summer of the Sisterhood

Book review by
Pam Gelman, Common Sense Media
Girls in Pants: The Third Summer of the Sisterhood Book Poster Image
Popular with kids
More girl self-discovery in teen series' third.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 11 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

The reading might be light fare, but this book can still lend itself to some fun discussions. See our "Families Can Talk About" section for some ideas. 

Positive Messages

This is pretty classic coming-of-age fare as these girls continue to learn to stand on their own (even as they continue to stand together!)

Positive Role Models & Representations

These girls experience their share of drama, but they remain true and respectful of their friends and families. Their loving, lifelong friendship is something that can certainly be an inspiration to teen readers.


A 3-year-old falls from the window and sustains a life-threatening head injury. Grandmother trips and hurts her knee.


Detailed descriptions of kissing. References to skinny dipping with and sleeping with a boy. A past sexual experience is discussed.


"Damn" and "ass" are used occassionally.


Third book in the popular series. A film was made of the first.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The book includes references to getting stoned and drinking, but the female protagonists are clean.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this book is the third in a hugely popular series for teens. The four friends certainly deal with some drama, including romances, anxiety about college, and an accident that leaves a young child seriously hurt. But they always continue to stand with each other, even as they learn to stand on their own. There are some references to "getting stoned," detailed descriptions of kissing, and mentions of sleeping with and skinny-dipping with a boy. But in the end it's these girls' friendships -- and each girl's growing sense of who she is -- that will leave an impact on teen readers. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 12-year-old Written bydodobird16 May 4, 2010
i think that this book really teaches you what happens behind family and friends and it gives you clues on boy drama i think that when i read it it changed me i... Continue reading
Adult Written byGirls in Pants April 9, 2008

I loved it to death!!!!

Very Very Very GOOD book. I highly recommend it!!!!
Teen, 15 years old Written bysoccer_girl05 January 20, 2021


I loved this book! It has hardly any sexual stuff in it. The other 2 books had a lot but this one was great! It is just about them continuing to learn how to li... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written bygirl_in_glasses May 20, 2015

Love the book....

So this is the 3rd book to the Girls In Pants series and it is really amazing! But the thing is that like the girls are actually starting to grow up and that me... Continue reading

What's the story?

The pants are back -- and with them, adventure and self-discovery for four college-bound friends:Lena's ultra-conservative father threatens to pull the plug on art school; Tibby's relationship with a male friend takes a romantic turn in the midst of a family crisis;Carmen begins a job caring for Lena's depressed and cranky Greek grandmother, meets a boy, and is horrified to discover that her middle-aged, newly remarried mother is pregnant; and Bea, still processing the death of her mother, is reunited with a past fling -- but learns this time to start with friendship before romance.


Is it any good?

This third novel in the series continues the odyssey that has struck a chord with teens, and readers may find some aspects of the story not entirely believable. But the author is such a good writer, and the characters are so lovable, that this book is sure to be a hit for teens who enjoy coming-of-age books, especially if they've read the other installments. As the girls grow during the summer after high school graduation, the "magical" pants that were a symbol of their friendship and support become less prominent. Even so, Brashares makes their love for one another clear as she weaves expertly through each of the four girls' adventures, sometimes even changing point of view within the same chapter.  

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about reading a series. What's fun about it? Do you notice the quality changing at all as you progress through the books? Many people say that a sequel is never as good as the original -- do you agree?  

  • These books have now been made into popular movies. Are they as good as the books? How do they compare? What would you have left in (or left out) if you were making the movies?

Book details

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