OwlCrate Jr is a monthly book subscription box for kids aged 8-12. They send books as well as interesting and educational book-related items.
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This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
About OwlCrate Jr
The Subscription Box: OwlCrate Jr
The Cost: $27.99 a month + shipping. Save with longer subscriptions.
ACTIVE DEAL: Save 10% off your first order
The Products: You will receive one hardcover middle-grade book plus assorted gender-neutral book-related items.
Ships to: The U.S. for $7.99, Canada for $9.99, and international for $19.99
OwlCrate Jr November 2020 "Home Sweet Home" Review
Just a note: This month's box was shipped in November, but it got stuck in transit (as many packages have been as of late), so please excuse the late review!
This month our theme is "Home Sweet Home" and this included magazine highlights all of our items. It also includes an interview with the author, a creativity corner with a word search, and some information on their monthly photo challenge. This month there is also a fun community feature!
Cinders & Sparrows by Stefan Bachmann - Retail Value $16.99
Zita is just a simple orphan turned housemaid until one day she receives a letter informing her that she is actually the heir to the Brydgeborn estate, and even more surprising, that she comes from a family of witches. She quickly makes the journey to find out more about the family that she never knew... the family that was murdered several months before her arrival, thus making her the last living heir. She has to prove herself to be the heir by passing a test, but once she does, her memories start to come back to her as she takes her place as the rightful owner of the estate. She knows she has to figure out what curse was placed on her family so that she can try and save them all while studying and learning to be a witch.
The author tells this story with such imagination and vivid imagery that is haunting, magical, and wondrous as we enter this new world and see it through Zita's eyes. It was so easy to get lost in the pages of this book (a quick read) as we join Zita in her journey to try to uncover what has happened.
Twelve-year-old Zita, an orphan and a housemaid, has resigned herself to a life of drudgery when a strange letter arrives, naming her the only living heir to the Brydgeborn fortune. Now the mistress of the castle, Zita soon realizes foul play led to the death of her family. And as she is guided through lessons in the art of witchcraft by the somewhat mysterious Mrs. Cantanker, Zita begins to wonder who is friend and who is foe.
Unforgettable and utterly enchanting, this stand-alone tale about family, belonging, and friendship will bewitch readers of Tahereh Mafi’s Whichwood, Katherine Arden’s Small Spaces, and Diana Wynne Jones’s Howl’s Moving Castle. Cinders & Sparrows is a magical page-turner by the author of The Peculiar, the acclaimed international bestseller.
We received a signed bookplate along with a letter from the author.
Our book also came with this bookmark to go along with it.
Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones - Retail Value $8.99 (Buy the trilogy here for $31.99)
This month we received a second book. I love this great cover, although I wasn't able to find this as a single book, but only in the trilogy set. I have never heard of this story before, but I'm looking forward to having a second book to read when I finish our main book! Especially, since this book seems to be highly rated.
Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady. Her only chance at breaking it lies in the ever-moving castle in the hills: the Wizard Howl's castle. To untangle the enchantment, Sophie must handle the heartless Howl, strike a bargain with a fire demon, and meet the Witch of the Waste head-on. Along the way, she discovers that there's far more to Howl—and herself—than first meets the eye.
In this giant jigsaw puzzle of a fantasy, people and things are never quite what they seem. Destinies are intertwined, identities exchanged, lovers confused. The Witch has placed a spell on Howl. Does the clue to breaking it lie in a famous poem? And what will happen to Sophie Hatter when she enters Howl's castle?
OwlCrate Jr Exclusive Keychain
This cool keychain was designed by Pineapple Sundays and is inspired by the Nevermoor series. While it looks like those basic motel room keys, this one is much nicer with gold details and a nice hefty weight to it. The little details on this keyring are so interesting and give it a lot of character.
OwlCrate Jr Exclusive Zipper Pouch
This cool Hobbit-hole zippered pouch was designed by @kolbisneat. It's so bright and fun! These pouches are always great quality too with a nice material on the outside that wipes clean. We have one from a few years ago that we take with us almost everywhere and it has held up so nicely!
OwlCrate Jr Exclusive Magnetic Bookmark
I love these little magnetic bookmarks and this one features the home of one of my favorite characters, Pippi Longstocking. The sides close up over your pages and the two magnets stick together holding it in place so it doesn't slip out of your book. This is a great colorful design by Crafted Van!
OwlCrate Jr Exclusive Puzzle
Our last item is this Baba Yaga puzzle designed by Veep Doodles. This 100-piece puzzle is a fun design and somewhat challenging with all of those monochromatic areas! I just wish the box it came in was a tad bigger so that it was easier to get the puzzle back inside for storage!
OwlCrate Jr Exclusive Sticker
Each box includes a collectible sticker that fits with the monthly theme. This adorable design comes from Maria Neradova.
Verdict: I loved this month's OwlCrate Jr adventure! The story was unique and beautifully told and the items that came with our book were perfect for our theme of "Home Sweet Home." The nice keychain, the bookmark featuring Pippi's home, and the cool hobbit-hole pouch are all so unique and useful. Plus we have another book to read, which is always a great bonus!
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, you'll get the January box—and there's no waitlist at the time of publication!
ACTIVE DEAL: Save 10% off your first order
Value Breakdown: This box costs $27.99 + $7.99 shipping. We received 7 items (not including the Cinders & Sparrows bookmark), meaning each item has an average value of about $5.14.
Check out all of our OwlCrate reviews and the best subscription boxes for kids!
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