Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Sisters/Hermanas” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating


3.37 of 5 stars 3.37  ·  rating details  ·  99 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Told in both English and Spanish, Sisters/Hermanas tells of Rosa, a fourteen-year-old illegal immigrant from Mexico City, and Traci, a fourteen-year-old from the suburbs of Houston. “Paulsen has done a masterful job of creating two well-developed, believable characters trapped in environments where the elements of beauty, youth, and popularity have the highest value, and a ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published November 30th 1993 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1993)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Sisters/Hermanas, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Sisters/Hermanas

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 157)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Novella/Racial experience/Connection

So - for the record, I don't like Gary Paulsen books. As a general rule they bore me, and I get irritated by the narration. However, Sisters, a startlingly short novella (if we have those in today's literary world) gives us the intertwining of two 14 year old girls - Rosa - an illegal immigrant who works as a hooker at night and dreams of being on the cover of magazines - and Traci - white, upperclass, who dreams of being a cheerleader. The characters are surp
Debbie Henderson
Genre: bilingual
Issues: racial equality, illegal immigration, prostitution, popularity

In Sisters/Hermanas, Gary Paulsen tells the stories of two girls the same age living in Texas. Rosa, a 14-year-old illegal immigrant from Mexico, works as a prostitute to earn money to send back to her mother in Mexico. Traci, a 14-year-old upper middle class citizen, wants exactly what her mother pressures her to do: become the most popular girl in the school and make the cheerleading team as the best team mem
This book opens us to the life of Rosa, a 14-year old undocumented immigrant girl that has turned to prostitution for survival, to send money to her mother in Mexico and to save money for her dreams of becoming a glamorous model. On the other side of the spectrum, there is Traci, a white 14-year old girl who is equally entrenched in dreams surrounding beauty and glamor and whose mother lives through her by subjecting her daughter to beauty pageants and clothes and makeup that make Traci look old ...more
Jeffrey Sosa
This short fictional novel revolves around the stories of two young fourteen-year-old girls as they interact with the world around them. Gary Paulson introduces us to Tracy, an upper-class white girl with a controlling mother; and Rosa, an illegal immigrant who is trying to support her family. He uses both to explore several adult themes, similarities in culture, and to toy with the idea of how similar the girls may be regardless of social or class positions. Overall, I think this book falls sho ...more
Elizabeth Guzman
This book focuses on the lives of two young girls Rosa an illegal immigrant who prostitutes herself to make a living and Traci a wealthy American. Although they live very different lives they both are connected with the obsession of beauty. Rosa believes that beauty is having perfect clothes and a perfect body, while Traci is being taught that that beauty is flawless and that its the key to happiness. While reading this book i kind of got a little confused in which chapter was talking about eith ...more
2.5. This just needed to be longer. The pace is almost leisurely & then we're rushed into this magical realism-ish ending.
I can't decide if I liked this book or not. It was an interesting portrayal of two different stereotypes in a way that made them the same, but it also was a bit odd. The fact that the girls are also just 14 makes it even odder. I did like the idea of these two girls from different backgrounds not being so different, it was the way that he went about it that I didn't care for as much. I think that I would give this to students, maybe someone who is struggling with longer texts, but I would be sur ...more
Good, but I was not sure about the ending...
I'm not sure how I feel about this book. The author attempts to convince the reader that two girls on opposite sides of the economic spectrum are alike, like sisters, in the way that they sell themselves - one as a prostitute and the other a popular cheerleader-beauty queen. The chance meeting of the girls was not credible. It is a bilingual novel that can be turned around for the other language. Now, I'll tackle the spanish....Si, puedo leer espanol, un pequito. *snicker*
This book was extremely short and had very little, if any plot. It was told in two voices, flipping back and forth between Rosa, an illegal immigrant/child prostitute, and Traci, a vain cheerleader. It was filled with stereotypes and as far as I can tell has very little value in the literary world. It's only redeeming quality is that in one volume it tells the story in both English and Spanish. At the most it might be used as a language teaching tool.
Femi Vance
I picked up this book because it was bilingual, short, and seemed to hold promise for some interesting social commentary. I was very disappointed. Paulsen spent too much time describing the characters and too little time letting the reader witness them living. Even though I was looking for short I felt like this book ended before it delivered its message. At least I was able to practice my Spanish.
Brandon O'Neill
This book literally took me 20 minutes to read - it's only 65 pages, but is pretty powerful nevertheless. It is about 2 girls - one is Rosa, a 14 year old illegal immigrant prostitute (that is a mouthful - no pun intended) and the other is Traci, a 14 year old trying to be perfect cheerleader who have a quick chance encounter. My first non-Brian themed book by Paulsen, and it was good.
Mary Ann
The 'haves' and 'have nots'; what a sad commentary on our society in more than one way. Have had this book for years and just now got around to reading. Paulsen did a fine job of pointing out obvious circumstances that we seldom do anything about, but stand by and say 'what can I do?' Rosa wants to help her mother and Traci seems to be her mother's puppet.
Eliza Mansuetto Uribe
There is a very limited Spanish language selection at my library. So I guess I was forced to read this. Very simple, short, and surface. I read it in like an hour. Not much to it, but still, I finished it all the way to the end so it must have kept me interested somewhat. That is why I gave it two stars instead of one.
I was curious to see where Gary Paulsen would go with one of the few non-male, non-white protagonists he's ever created, and the book was beautifully written but severely lacking in plot and description.
Elizabeth Lund
Interesting exercise; really a short story published as a book. Characters were unique and skilfully written. I ached for Rosa because of the outcome--and not because she was a prostitute!
Not your normal Paulsen read.
Katy Alexandra
this book is soooo good :D
Jennifer Edith
Jennifer Edith marked it as to-read
Nov 20, 2014
Licha is currently reading it
Nov 11, 2014
Gretchen marked it as to-read
Oct 21, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Although he was never a dedicated student, Paulsen developed a passion for reading at an early age. After a librarian gave him a book to read--along with his own library card--he was hooked. He began spending hours alone in the basement of his apartment building, reading one book after another.

Running away from home at the age of 14 and traveling with a carnival, Paulsen acquired a taste for adve
More about Gary Paulsen...
Hatchet (Brian's Saga, #1) Brian's Winter (Brian's Saga, #3) The River (Brian's Saga, #2) Brian's Return (Brian's Saga, #4) Brian's Hunt (Brian's Saga, #5)

Share This Book