Family Reading Crate Subscription Review – February 2019


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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 February 2019 Review

The included booklet introduces the theme, which is “Science Fiction Isn’t Just Outer Space” 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 4 collectible bookmarks in our box. Dinosaurs and robots! How fun!

Each month you get a little toy or something to go along with the theme and this month we received these fun dinosaur stencils. My kids went crazy for these and I love anything that they can use for their “crafts” as they call them!

Power Down, Little Robot by Anna Staniszewski – Retail Value $16.99 (found here for $9.85)

This was the book for the younger readers in the family and it was a cute story that any parent that has a child who doesn’t enjoy bedtime will appreciate! This little robot is trying all the tricks in the book to try and get out of going to bed, but with a slight robot twist such as opening his “stalling program” and requesting a can of oil since he is thirsty. This is one of those books that both kids and parents can enjoy reading together and my family had fun reading about this robot’s bedtime!

The Edge of Extinction: The Ark Plan by Laura Martin – Retail Value $16.99 (found here for $11.89)

This book is meant to be the family read aloud and my family is slightly obsessed with dinosaurs (they can name them all!) so this was a fun read! My kids are a bit young to sit still for this as a read aloud, but I am looking forward to having this to read to them in the future, hoping their love of dinosaurs doesn’t fade too much! This story features Sky, a girl who lives in an underground world with the last remaining members of the human race after dinosaurs have taken over the Earth. The dinosaurs were brought back by scientists and quickly overtook the humans, but a man they call Noah saved a group of them by bringing them underground. Sky’s father fled the compound five years ago and she has spent her time searching for answers that she hasn’t found underground. Now, with the help of her best friend, Shawn, she must find answers above ground in a thrilling adventure as they navigate their way through this new world of dangerous dinosaurs. I thought this was such a fun concept and this was an easy read with a fast pace and likable characters. It is also part of a series which is exciting! 

Eye of the Storm by Kate Messner – Retail Value $7.99 (found here for $6.41) 

This book is meant for the older child or teen in the family and it begins with a girl named Jaden who is going to live with her father for the summer so that she can attend camp. It sounds like an ordinary story, but this takes place in the future where super storms have taken over the world. At home in Vermont, there are constant worries over when the next storm will hit as these intense tornadoes and storms have wiped out much of the world. Her father, a very important scientist, left four years ago to work on helping to resolve this situation and now resides in Placid Meadows which Jaden slowly learns is unlike any other place in the world. They have developed technology to keep the storms at bay here and are in their own little bubble of protection, but Jaden soon begins to suspect that her father isn’t quite who she thinks he is and may be hiding something. This story is such an interesting concept that features a lot of suspenseful moments as the characters experience close calls with these horrific storms and it was a perfect example of our Sci-Fi theme!

This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada – Retail Value $18.99 (found here for $10.44)

This book is for the adult in the family and I liked the main character, Catarina immediately. This book is somewhat graphic in nature due to the horrendous virus outbreak and what happens to those who are infected. I won’t go into details, but it is definitely something I’d liken to The Walking Dead. I don’t think I have ever read a book in this genre with this type of survival storyline, but I am really loving it so far! It is intense and feels just a bit more tasteful than watching a gory scene on tv to me for some reason. Amazon describes it as gripping, which is the best way to put it and I really can’t wait to see how this plays out.

From Amazon:

In this gripping debut novel, seventeen-year-old Cat must use her gene-hacking skills to decode her late father’s message concealing a vaccine to a horrifying plague.

Catarina Agatta is a hacker. She can cripple mainframes and crash through firewalls, but that’s not what makes her special. In Cat’s world, people are implanted with technology to recode their DNA, allowing them to change their bodies in any way they want. And Cat happens to be a gene-hacking genius.

That’s no surprise, since Cat’s father is Dr. Lachlan Agatta, a legendary geneticist who may be the last hope for defeating a plague that has brought humanity to the brink of extinction. But during the outbreak, Lachlan was kidnapped by a shadowy organization called Cartaxus, leaving Cat to survive the last two years on her own.

When a Cartaxus soldier, Cole, arrives with news that her father has been killed, Cat’s instincts tell her it’s just another Cartaxus lie. But Cole also brings a message: before Lachlan died, he managed to create a vaccine, and Cole needs Cat’s help to release it and save the human race.

Now Cat must decide who she can trust: The soldier with secrets of his own? The father who made her promise to hide from Cartaxus at all costs? In a world where nature itself can be rewritten, how much can she even trust herself?

Verdict: This was another fun and unique theme from Family Reading Crate! I am always so impressed with the excellent curation of books that go along with the theme. I don’t usually choose sci-fi novels when I read, but I do enjoy a good dystopian society story and a lot of these books had that feel. I am a fan of sci-fi movies and tv shows, so it was exciting to expand my repertoire a bit and experience this genre through books, which are my favorite form of entertainment. I found myself enjoying these alternate worlds and seeing how these heroines navigated all of the wild things happening around them. As usual, the value for this box is great at $60.96 for a box that only costs $34.99 ($26.99 + $8.00 shipping) and that isn’t including the great extras such as the guide with discussion questions, bookmarks or stencils.

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Yes, as of publication this box is still available.

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

  • Power Down, Little Robot by Anna Staniszewski: $9.75
  • Edge of Extinction #1: The Ark Plan by Laura Martin: $9.75
  • Eye of the Storm by Kate Messner: $4.59
  • This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada: $10.90

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!

What do you think of this month’s Family Reading Crate?

Written by Brandi Dowell

Brandi Dowell

Brandi has loved the idea of subscription boxes since joining Birchbox in 2013. Finding new products to test out and possibly fall in love with has always excited her. Now, as a mother of 3, she loves discovering new products that can help make parenting a little easier! Her favorites are FabFitFun and Target Baby boxes.

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

1 Comment

  1. I can’t express how much I love her boxes! We also use her homeschool program and it’s just as fantastic!

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