Rick Gould, 17, a Pinkerton Academy junior and Saltmarsh Library aide, signs a pair of "Traveling Pants" that are going around to visit New Hampshire libraries. The program is based on the series of "Traveling Pants" books.

DERRY | A simple pair of jeans gave Derry teens a leg up last week on sharing summer experiences and friendship.

A pair of jeans came to town as part of the statewide library program, "New Hampshire Traveling Pants," based on author Ann Brashares' popular "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" series of books.

The pants, one of three pairs making the rounds to libraries around the Granite State, were on display at the Derry Public Library, with teens stopping by to write their names and mark favorite summer vacation destinations. Many embellished the denim pants with sequins, pins and fancy designs.

The jeans also spent a day at Pinkerton Academy's Saltmarsh Library, giving students at the high school a chance to participate in the "Traveling Pants" program.

Brashares' "Traveling Pants" series deals with four close friends who find themselves separated during the summer vacation season. They remain in touch through a shared pair of secondhand jeans, with each girl spending time with the pants and documenting her summertime experiences on the cloth. The pants then move on to the next friend, until all four girls have had time to write their summer moments.

The New Hampshire pants project began in January and will continue through the summer. Once the jeans' inaugural journey is complete, they will make another statewide tour to show off the teens' artwork.

Derry Public Library Reference/Young Adult Librarian Tim Sheehan said the "Traveling Pants" series is extremely popular with young readers and the books don't stay on the shelves too long.

He said the jeans project last week gave teens in Derry a chance to document their names and experiences as part of an exciting exhibit that others will eventually get to enjoy.

"Fans of 'Sisterhood' enjoyed the event," Sheehan said, "but I think any teen boy or girl who finds it exciting to record their life was also thrilled to participate."

When the pants make their second tour around the state, Sheehan said it will be interesting to see what others have done to put their personal life moments down on the denim.

At Pinkerton, several students spent library time decorating the pants, complete with an original Pinkerton Academy design in felt featuring the historic Pinkerton Building tower.

"They put their names on one leg, and their destinations on the other leg," Pinkerton librarian Marilyn Dent said.

Dent said students seemed very interested in the project and wrote many interesting destinations on the pant leg | some of them places they had already visited, and some of them places they hoped to someday see.

Locations like Fiji, Hawaii, Australia, and Yosemite were popular areas marked down on the material.

"I put down Fort Lauderdale," said Pinkerton freshman Daniel Raineri, 14. "I'm going to be moving back there after high school."

The pants already had names and designs from previous visits to Dover, Atkinson, Plaistow and Exeter. After leaving Derry, the pants were off to another library.

People can see what other libraries have done with the "Traveling Pants" exhibit by visiting www.nhtravelingpants.blogspot.com to see a summary of the program and postings from other libraries across the state.

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