beTWEEN the Bookends is the first monthly book and lifestyle box created for kids by a teen herself! Boxes follow a monthly theme and contain age-appropriate books and lifestyle items that have been read and hand tested by Jillian, the 14-year-old creator. Full size boxes contain 2-3 books and 6-8 lifestyle items, while mini boxes include 1 book and 3-5 lifestyle items. The new gender-neutral boxes will contain the same 2-3 books in the full boxes but will have only 3-5 gender neutral lifestyle items.
The Cost: $37.50 per month for the Gender-Neutral box (the Full-Size box is $45 per month) + free US shipping. Save with longer subscriptions.
This review is of the beTWEEN the Bookends Tween Gender Neutral Box.
This box was sent to us at no cost to review. (Check out our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we review boxes.)
I came across the subscription "beTWEEN the Bookends" thanks to a comment left by Chelsea on "The 19 Best Subscription Boxes for Kids 2022 Reader's Choice Awards" article, and I am so incredibly happy I did. With a background in education, reading is one of my absolute passions and something I work to instill into my 7- and 9-year old's lives as much as possible. This subscription has worked so well at being exciting, educational, and fun, all while turning reading into an enjoyable hobby for all. Because of how much my kids loved the last box, they couldn't wait to check out the "Plant Your Story" theme this month. Read below to find out what we received.
Packaged in turquoise tissue paper and sealed with a sticker featuring both a boy and a girl, Hank couldn't wait to tear into this gender-neutral box to see what was included.
Here's What's Inside
This month's welcome note shares with us all that is included in this "Plant Your Story" themed box. Not only are three books included, but as are six lifestyle items - three specifically from small shops. Along with this month's contents, also listed is the theme for next month's box and all of beTWEEN the bookend's social media info.
Hello from Renn Lake by Michele Weber Hurwitz - Retail Value $16.99 (found here for $15.94)
Perfect for summer reading, "Hello from Renn Lake" is a story about a family from Wisconsin that owns lakeside cabins. Annalise, the owner's daughter, discovers at a young age she can feel what Renn Lake is thinking and feeling, and when a patch of algae turns into a harmful bloom, she and her friends are determined to find a way to save the lake. This book truly is about community, activism, and fighting for the things you love - with a bit of a Moana feel. My 9-year-old son enjoyed this book and found it easy and fun to read. Truly identifying with the lake life, we found this book a great pick for our family and one we probably wouldn't have discovered had it not been for this subscription.
Jack and the Geniuses: Lost in the Jungle by Bill Nye and Gregory Mone - Retail Value $7.99
I grew up watching "Bill Nye the Science Guy", so to discover he is a children's author was a delightful surprise. As my background is also in science (former Clinical Laboratory Scientist here), science adventure stories are right up my alley. This particular title features Dr. Hank Witherspoon, (my son Hank was beaming when his name made it into the book), and he has disappeared. When Jack and his siblings stumble upon suspicious clues, they have a mystery to solve. Trudging to the depths of the Amazon rainforest, the group must overcome creepy critters to save Hank, and make it out alive. Not only does this book have a great storyline for adventure-loving kids, but it also includes real facts and a DIY science experiment. This was a definite winner for my son, and he can't wait to get his hands on the other two books available in this series.
Heidi by Johanna Spyri - Retail Value $12.00 (found here for $10.85)
Heidi is an absolute classic and one that I haven't read for many, many years. This mini version is probably the cutest book I have ever seen, not only because of the bright lovely colors, but also because it is so unique. Just look at the horizontal print! About a little orphan girl in the Swiss Alps, Heidi is sent to live with her grandfather, whom she loves, only to find out her aunt is about to take her away. This particular version wasn't quite as easy to read as the version I read as a girl, but the boys found it interesting enough. They weren't as excited about it as say, "Little Men", but they comprehended the book well and were glad to hear the story.
Butterfly Kisses and Dandelion Wishes DIY Set
Like in the "Early Reader" box, the "Tween" version included a wildflower seed bomb set. Including straight forward instructions, we went ahead and created seed bombs to plant in our pots. Because the weather has not been cooperating, our seeds have not yet sprouted, but we are hoping to see green any day now. I just love these easy homemade craft kits, don't you?
Salem's Bows and More - Monthly Sticker Pack
To coordinate with the "Plant Your Story" theme, this month's sticker set featured succulents planted in animal containers. Giving off an almost Pokémon vibe, Hank really liked these, and added them to his spelling notebook cover, sharing the kitty version with me.
Slight Edge Creations - Monthly Button
Keeping with the animal planter theme, the monthly button we received features a fox filled with a little blooming cactus. Whimsical and fun, I may or may not have borrowed this from my son to add to my jean jacket.
Butterfield's Peach Buds - Retail Value $2.98
I am really not a peach fan, but boy oh boy were these peachy hard candies delicious. Tasting like the juice from a sun-ripened fruit, we couldn't get enough of these. I also appreciated the fact they weren't individually wrapped like a Jolly Rancher and were lightly dusted with sugar to give an old fashioned, non-sticky look. Honestly these may be in my top 3 for best hard candies ever, and both kids agree!
I have to admit, Hank was uber jealous of Charlie when he opened his box and discovered the avocado pop it keychain. There may have been some bartering trying to happen, and things were going down fast - then we opened this Tween box and discovered our day was saved! This ultra-adorable squishy avocado pop it features two places to pop, in an almost silent way (yay!!). The kids have them dangling from their backpacks, and have had multiple requests for trades, so it was a definite win!
Lucky Clover Push Pins - Retail Value $1.66
The last item Hank received was this set of 20 lucky clover push pins. I understand that this is a plant and fits in with the theme, but because we don't have a bulletin board at home, my son didn't find them useful. Lucky for me, I have a bulletin board at school, so they have been gloriously spread around my classroom to brighten up my posters, artwork, and notes.
This was my second time receiving the beTWEEN the bookends gender neutral box, and both Hank and I loved the curation. All three books were age appropriate, truly gender neutral, and fun to read. While some of the extra items overlapped with the "Early Reader" box, that was actually something Hank was happy about. All of the goodies went to use, even though the pins didn't work out for him specifically. Like I said in my previous review, I can definitely see this box as a way to entice a child that isn't a huge fan of reading into trying new books. I can't wait to see what the "Home Between the Pages" theme looks like next month!
The beTWEEN the bookends gender neutral box costs $37.50 per month, including shipping. After calculating what it would cost to order the included books separately along with the lifestyle items, it would have cost over $45 (using low estimates for the items I couldn't find online) which feels very reasonable to me.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
Other Things You Should Know
Can I still get this box if I sign up today? beTWEEN the bookends tends to ship the first week of each month. Order now to receive the June box.
What did you think of the BeTWEEN the Bookends gender neutral box?