LitJoy Crate Middle Grade Subscription Box Review- March 2017
Litjoy Middle Grade Crate is a quarterly book subscription box for kids aged 8-13. They send two middle grade books and 3-5 book related items. Litjoy Crate also has crates for ages 3-7 (picture books), and 14+ (young adult).
This box was sent to us at no cost to review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
The Subscription Box: Litjoy Middle Grade Crate
The Cost: $34.99/quarterly or $67.50/2-quarter pre-pay. Plus USPS flat-rate shipping.
COUPON: Use code MSA10 to save 10% off your first subscription box!
The Products: two middle grade books and 3-5 book themed items
Ships to: U.S., Canada, and International
Good to Know: Crates ship June 20th, September 20th, and December 20th
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
An info card was included listing each item in the box. March’s theme was Magical Creatures.
Dragonwatch: A Fablehaven Adventure by Brandon Mull – Value $11.86 on Amazon (retail price $18.99)
I’ve started read Dragonwatch and right off the bat I’m so impressed with Brandon Mull’s descriptive and poetic writing. I’ve never read his Fablehaven series, though it’s popular with my students. With Mull’s penchant for suspense and realistic dialogue, I can see why.
In the long-awaited sequel to Fablehaven, the dragons who have been kept at the dragon sanctuaries no longer consider them safe havens, but prisons and they want their freedom. The dragons are no longer our allies….
In the hidden dragon sanctuary of Wyrmroost, Celebrant the Just, King of the Dragons, plots his revenge. He has long seen the sanctuaries as prisons, and he wants nothing more than to overthrow his captors and return the world to the Age of Dragons, when he and his kind ruled and reigned without borders. The time has come to break free and reclaim his power.
No one person is capable of stopping Celebrant and his dragon horde. It will take the ancient order of Dragonwatch to gather again if there is any chance of saving the world from destruction. In ancient times, Dragonwatch was a group of wizards, enchantresses, dragon slayers, and others who originally confined the majority of dragons into sanctuaries. But nearly all of the original Dragonwatch members are gone, and so the wizard Agad reaches out to Grandpa Sorenson for help.
As Kendra and Seth confront this new danger, they must draw upon all their skills, talents, and knowledge as only they have the ability to function together as a powerful dragon tamer. Together they must battle against forces with superior supernatural powers and breathtaking magical abilities.
How will the epic dragon showdown end? Will dragons overthrow humans and change the world as we know it?
The Menagerie by Tui T. Sutherland – Value $6.69 on Amazon (retail price $6.99)
The Menagerie is written with a light tone which reads quickly and easily. While fantasy isn’t my favorite genre, I do adore a good mystery and I’m anxious to see how this one wraps up.
From the New York Times bestselling author of the Wings of Fire series, Tui T. Sutherland, and her sister, Kari Sutherland, comes the Menagerie series, perfect for fans of Brandon Mull’s Fablehaven series and The Spiderwick Chronicles.
In the small town of Xanadu, Wyoming lies the Menagerie, a top secret facility filled with unicorns, dragons, phoenixes, and other fairy tale creatures. At least, it was a secret—until six griffin cubs escaped.
If Logan and Zoe don’t get the cubs back fast, the entire Menagerie will be shut down. The race is on and the resulting adventure is only the beginning of a thrilling series that will leave readers wanting a magical menagerie of their very own.
Dragonwatch Activity Guide – Bonus
Litjoy Crate made their own activity guide to go along with Dragonwatch. I thought this was a fabulous idea and I hope they make one each quarter to go with the hardcover selection. This activity guide was filled with puzzles, mazes, codes, how-to-draw a dragon step by step, mad libs and more. On the back cover, they listed other titles to try that are similar to Dragonwatch and The Menagerie including one of my favorite fantasy series: The Spiderwick Chronicles. They said these are great titles to read to hold you over until their next crate ships out on June 20th.
Dragon Bracelet – Value $3.00?
This dragon bracelet is a metal charm woven through a leather cord. There is no clasp so it must be tied on. There was no literature about this item on the information card (though it was pictured on the front of the card) so I’m not sure of a manufacturer or value. It certainly fits the magical creature theme, though.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 Funko Pop – Value $8.99
My Blind Box Funko Pop was Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon 2. Other subscribers may receive a different figurine. It’s about two inches tall and pretty darn cute.
Bag of Chocolate Coins – Value $1.00?
In The Menagerie the griffins (lion-eagle hybrids) are attracted to gold and food. I thought this was a clever and tasty treat to go along with the story.
Evidently “drink the milk” is a phrase well-known to fans of Brandon Mull’s Fablehaven series which I haven’t read. Drinking the milk from Viola, a magical cow, allows the person to see magical creatures. I’ve never tried Magic Milk Straws before and they were yummy. My kids loved them too!
Poster – Bonus
A large Dragonwatch poster was included showing the same scene from the cover of the book. It’s fabulous!
Verdict: I think Litjoy really hit a homerun with their first ever Middle Grade Crate. We love their picture book crate and I was excited to see what they would come up with for older kids. They didn’t disappoint! I loved their bright orange box, the informative card which explained the reasoning behind the curation, the creative and fun-filled activity guide, the tasty treats and of course the book selections. The value of this box with my estimations came to about $34 which doesn’t quite cover the cost of the box (and shipping) but I also didn’t assign a value to the activity guide or poster. I find children’s book boxes like these to be more about curation than value and I felt the curation was spot-on. The only problem with this box that I see is it only ships quarterly and I have to wait till June for my next fix!
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