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3.35  ·  Rating details ·  130 Ratings  ·  27 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)
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Mar 10, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 15, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting format. It's a flip book; English on one side, Spanish on the other side. This novella explores the similarities between two teens in Texas. One is a Mexican immigrant, the other is a suburban cheerleader. I wish it had been longer.

This book is about two girls, Rosa and Traci. Rosa is a 14-year-old illegal immigrant in Texas, working at night in the streets as a prostitute in order to send money home to her mother. Traci is a 14-year-old bleached-blonde beauty queen in the same Texas city as Rosa, whose mother primes her everyday to be perfect and look perfect...because that is how she will succeed in life. These girls' lives intersect for a brief moment to see how truly similar they are.

This book w
Apr 30, 2009 rated it liked it
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
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
Kiri Case
Nov 30, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: engl-420

This book follows the parallel plot lines of two young women who are leading totally different lives...or so it seems. Rosa is an illegal immigrant come to America to make money for her struggling family back home. She soon falls into the only position she can hold that will make her enough money: prostitution. She lives the life of a prostitute, but dreams of one day being a famous model. Traci is a white, rich American whose entire life has been planned out by her controll
Jeffrey Sosa
Oct 19, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: english-420
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
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
Elizabeth Guzman
Oct 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 27, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 420-books
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
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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...