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OwlCrate Jr Book Box Review + Coupon – January 2021

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.

FYI, COVID-19 Updates: You can find OwlCrate shipping updates right here.

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 per month + shipping. Save with longer subscriptions.

COUPON: Use code JRMSA2021 to 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 January 2021 “Inner Magic” Review


This month our theme is “Inner Magic” and this little magazine highlights all of the items included in our box. It also includes an interview with the author, some information on their monthly photo challenge, and a fun questionnaire that helps you figure out which department you would work in from our book. It looks like I would be a Bureau Elevator!


Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston – Retail Value $17.99 (found here for $14.34)

Look at that gorgeous cover! You can tell just by looking at her that our heroine this month is fierce!

From Amazon:

Amari Peters has never stopped believing her missing brother, Quinton, is alive. Not even when the police told her otherwise, or when she got in trouble for standing up to bullies who said he was gone for good.

So when she finds a ticking briefcase in his closet, containing a nomination for a summer tryout at the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, she’s certain the secretive organization holds the key to locating Quinton—if only she can wrap her head around the idea of magicians, fairies, aliens, and other supernatural creatures all being real.

Now she must compete for a spot against kids who’ve known about magic their whole lives. No matter how hard she tries, Amari can’t seem to escape their intense doubt and scrutiny—especially once her supernaturally enhanced talent is deemed “illegal.” With an evil magician threatening the supernatural world, and her own classmates thinking she’s an enemy, Amari has never felt more alone. But if she doesn’t stick it out and pass the tryouts, she may never find out what happened to Quinton.

I could not put this book down! Seeing as I am a grown adult and this is a children’s book, I think that’s a good sign! I just love the concept of this book. Amari lives her life feeling like nobody really knows her. All they have are assumptions about her based on the way she looks and where she lives, but nobody seems to understand her or have her back but her brother. When he disappears, things get even worse for her, and soon she finds herself without a scholarship to the school she attends- the one her mother hopes will give her a leg up in life. Amari spends all of her time trying to find out what happened to her brother and she is driven by her love for him and very determined. When he nominates her for a special school, she knows this is her only chance to find him and even though it’s dangerous, this is a risk she is willing to take.

Written in the voice of a kid, including some slang words (which adds to the authenticity), it really helps you to empathize with Amari and it feels like you are talking to a friend rather than reading about her. Her voice is very real which makes it all the more fun as you see all of the wild and magical things from her perspective. There are familiar mythical and magical creatures from Bigfoot to leprechauns and vampires, and there is a slight similarity to the Harry Potter series with the whole badge ceremony where Amari learns that she is actually a powerful magician. The blend of the supernatural and natural world is also similar, but Alston’s voice is so different and all of the unique vocations in this book are a bit broader which really can allow for anything to happen! We see Amari gain confidence in herself and her abilities as she navigates this magical place, and there is just enough humor thrown in to really lighten the mood. I love that this is just the start of a series and I’d be happy to embark on any adventure with Amari!


We also received this signed bookplate along with a personal letter from the author.


We also received this promotional bookmark with that awesome cover art.


The You Are Awesome Journal by Matthew Syed – Retail Value $10.99 (found here for $10.59)

This journal is a great way to build up your confidence! Filled with activities, prompts, and affirmations to motivate you, it’s a great way to focus on figuring out what you’re good at and how you can use those strengths to your advantage. I think this is a fantastic book to include for this age group and it ties perfectly with our theme of “Inner Magic.”


OwlCrate Jr Exclusive Mini Gel Pen Set

This set of mini rainbow gel pens is perfect for filling out our journal with. There are 20 different pens in varying colors and they feature a great mix of neons, glitter pens and pastels (swipe to see a few samples). I love that they all fit into this plastic case that actually closes and latches. I’m definitely putting these in my purse to take out the next time my kids need to be occupied with some doodling!  The cute design on the front comes from Michelle Gray.


OwlCrate Jr Exclusive Art Print

This beautiful art print was designed by Lady Chubb Letters and the quote from James Nicol’s The Apprentice Witch is certainly inspiring. I love the beautiful script, but even more so, I love those colors and the gorgeous details surrounding it!


OwlCrate Jr Exclusive Bubble Bar

This bubble bar is shimmery and fun to look at, but even better, when you pull of a squishy chunk and run it under water it turns your bath blue and adds a nice layer of bubbles to it. The scent from Whipped Up Wonderful is a slightly fruity clean one that isn’t too overwhelming. You only need a small chunk, so this bar is good for quite a few baths!


OwlCrate Jr Exclusive Loose Leaf Tea

I am always ready for some tea from Riddle’s Tea Shoppe and this blend inspired by the Love, Sugar, Magic series was a delightful one! This was a caffeine-free rooibos tea, which is one of my favorite teas, with caramel, vanilla, and cinnamon. It was such a warm and cozy blend with the caramel and vanilla flavors at the forefront and just a nice hint of cinnamon.


OwlCrate Jr Exclusive Sticker

Each box includes a collectible sticker that fits with the monthly theme. This cute design comes from Jestenia Southerland.

Verdict: This was one of my favorite books that I’ve received from OwlCrate Jr and I loved the theme it inspired. The idea of inner magic and self esteem is one that is important at this age and the items in the box were both fun and inspiring. I enjoyed the tea, my children loved the bubble bar, and it was so nice to receive a full set of mini gel pens to use. I love the gorgeous art print and the I thought the journal was perfectly thought-provoking and a great way to instill some confidence in one’s own abilities. This box full of exclusive items always feels like a great value!

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, you’ll get the February box—and there’s no waitlist at the time of publication!

COUPON: Use code JRMSA2021 to save 10% off your first order.

Value Breakdown: This box costs $27.99$7.99 shipping. We received 7 items, meaning each item has an average value of about $5.14.

Check out all of our OwlCrate Jr reviews, our OwlCrate YA reviews, and the best subscription boxes for kids!

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 Book Subscription Boxes, OwlCrate JR Reviews, OwlCrate Reviews, Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Kids| Tags: owlcrate jr | 0 comments

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