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Family Reading Crate Subscription Review – October 2018

Family Reading Crate is a book box designed with the whole family in mind. Each month you will get about 4 books based on a common theme and one of these will be hand-picked just for the adult in the family. You will also receive a booklet with discussion questions and a few items that tie into the books including collectible bookmarks.

This is offered through Build Your Library a secular literature-based homeschool curriculum website.

This box was sent to us at no cost for review purposes. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

About Family Reading Crate

The Subscription Box: Family Reading Crate

The Cost: $26.99 + $8.00 shipping

The Products: A selection of 4 books (one of which is for an adult), discussion booklet and a few other items related to the box theme

Ships to: US

Family Reading Crate October 2018 Review

Their packaging recently changed and they included this insert stating that they are using eco-friendly materials, which is great!

I love that when I opened the box I was greeted by these little spider rings hidden in the sizzle paper. Creepy and fun!

The included booklet introduces the theme, which is Books that Go Bump in the Night this month, and also gives a brief description of who each book is meant for in the family. They include a link to their website which provides activities and printables as well as suggestions for books and movies all related to the month’s theme. These are great extension ideas to use with the whole family.

Also included are discussion questions for each of the kids’ books. These range from direct questions about the content to making inferences to personal opinions about the story. These are perfect for family discussion or even as writing prompts as part of a homeschool curriculum.

Instead of discussion questions for the adult book, there is a book review by the curator of the box.

We received these 3 collectible bookmarks in our box. So many fun monsters!

2000 Stickers Spooky: 36 Freaky and Creepy Activities! by Parragon Books – Retail Value $8.98

Each month you get a little toy or something to go along with the theme. I ended up finding four spider rings hidden in our box and we received this awesome sticker and activity book!

So many stickers and fun Halloween activities! What a great bonus this month!

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda S. Williams – Retail Value $7.99 (found here for $6.99)

This was the book for the younger readers in the family. This story had a nice spooky feel and lots of action as a little old lady is followed by various articles of clothing on her walk to her cottage.

The book could get very spooky depending on how you read it, but since my kiddos are younger, I downplayed the scary and made it more silly with the repetition and noises. The ending was very mild making it a fun pick for this month’s theme!

The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street by Lindsay Currie – Retail Value $17.99 (found here for $12.59)

This book is meant to be the family read aloud. Tessa’s family has just made a move from sunny Florida to rainy Chicago and as if leaving your best friend and adjusting to a new school isn’t bad enough, it turns out her house is haunted. Tessa is an artist and she begins to notice strange things happening, like mysterious drawings in her sketchbook and pastels being left out on her floor, air that suddenly turns cold and doors that she knows she closed being left open. She finds out that her neighborhood was built on top of a cemetery and soon she enlists the help of her new friends to solve the mystery of what exactly is going on in her house. This story is great for a family discussion as Tessa often regards her parents and brother with much consideration and tries to downplay her own unhappiness over the move in order to not add to their stress. The way she is so respectful of her family and their feelings would be a wonderful segue into a family discussion on different perspectives of major events such as this. The fact that something spooky is happening also makes it a really fun read, too!

Nightfall by Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski – Retail Value $8.99 

This book is meant for the older child or teen in the family and what a crazy concept! A town that has had sunlight for 14 years, but is now going to have 14 years of darkness. The inhabitants must leave the town because it will be covered in ice and they have to follow some very strange and specific instructions such as removing the lock and handle from the front door, turning the dining room table a quarter turn and putting knives in sharpeners in the parlor wall. Why do they need to do these things and what happens while the townspeople are gone? Unfortunately, twins Kana and Marin may find out when their friend Line goes missing and they decide to go after him. The darkness is closing in and the boats have arrived to take them away, can they find him before it’s too late? This has the feel of a classic dystopian society novel and is full of odd rituals, strange words, and eery occurrences. It’s a unique story and definitely fits in with the theme as you are thrown into a creepy world where many creatures seem to go bump in the night.

Black Mad Wheel by Josh Malerman – Retail Value $26.99 (found here for $14.84)

This book is for the adult in the family and wow, this book is intense and eery in a way that makes it a perfect ‘bump in the night’ read for adults. The story opens when Phillip awakens in the hospital after being comatose for six months and is told he has broken pretty much every bone in his body in an inexplicable manner. We are then introduced to nurse Ellen, who is tending to him and is surprised at how quickly he is recovering. The story jumps between the present with Phillip and Ellen to the past when Phillip and his bandmates were approached by the army to find the location of a mysterious sound in Africa. As we learn more about their mission, we are drawn in further and further to the mystery of a creepy sound that causes grown men to fall to the ground in pain and become physically ill. It’s such a unique storyline that is full of suspense and mystery that grips you from the start.

From Amazon:

“The Danes—the band known as the “Darlings of Detroit”—are washed up and desperate for inspiration, eager to once again have a number one hit. That is, until an agent from the US Army approaches them. Will they travel to an African desert and track down the source of a mysterious and malevolent sound? Under the guidance of their front man, Philip Tonka, the Danes embark on a harrowing journey through the scorching desert—a trip that takes Tonka into the heart of an ominous and twisted conspiracy.

Meanwhile, in a nondescript Midwestern hospital, a nurse named Ellen tends to a patient recovering from a near-fatal accident. The circumstances that led to his injuries are mysterious—and his body heals at a remarkable rate. Ellen will do the impossible for this enigmatic patient, who reveals more about his accident with each passing day.

Part Heart of Darkness, part Lost, Josh Malerman’s breathtaking new novel plunges us into the depths of psychological horror, where you can’t always believe everything you hear.”

Verdict: I love that Family Reading Crate chose to embrace the upcoming Halloween holiday this month! The activity book was such a great bonus and I liked that all of the book choices were spooky or eery, but in their own unique way. I love the idea of using these for a family book discussion so that each family member can share their stories and compare them to one another. I’m always so amazed at the retail value that they are able to cram into this box and this month is no exception with a total retail value of $70.94 which is fantastic for a $34.99 ($26.99 + $8.00 shipping) box. This isn’t even counting the fun little extras such as the spiders, bookmarks, and booklet full of discussion questions. Plus, we got to enjoy such a spooky curation selected just for us!

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Yes! As of publication, this box is still available to purchase!

Value Breakdown: At $34.99 (price + shipping) for this box, here’s what you are paying approximately per item:

  • 2000 Stickers Spooky: 36 Freaky and Creepy Activities! by Parragon Books: $4.43
  • The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda S. Williams: $3.94
  • The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street by Lindsay Currie: $8.87
  • Nightfall by Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski: $4.43
  • Black Mad Wheel by Josh Malerman: $13.31

Check out all of our Family Reading Crates reviews and Book Subscription Box reviews for more kid’s book options!

Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!

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Written by Brandi Dowell

Brandi Dowell

Brandi has loved the idea of subscription boxes since joining Birchbox in 2013. Now that she’s a mother of 3, she loves finding unique boxes to educate and entertain her kids while enjoying some more pampering boxes for herself. Her favorites these days are Lillypost, KiwiCo boxes & Wicked Good Perfume!

Posted in Family Reading Crate Reviews, Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Kids| Tags: family reading crate | 1 comment

Comment (1)

  1. What a great idea! This box would be perfect for our family. I’m going to have to check it out…

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