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: $37.00 per month for the Gender-Neutral box (the Full-Size box is $44 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.)
Summer vacation has finally arrived, and while I am super stoked to spend the coming months with my boys, I have also put together a schedule that includes a bit of homeschool work to try and prevent the "summer slide." Working in education, I have discovered kids struggle without the ability to read, and I will do all I can to prevent that. One of the most helpful tools I have found to get the kids excited to read (and try out new book topics) is the subscription "beTWEEN the Bookends." Not only does this subscription send thoughtful (and teen approved) books, but they also send lifestyle items too that turn it into an entire experience. We couldn't wait to dive into this month's theme of "A Home Between the Pages". Read below to find out what we received.
The contents of this box are 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 "A Home Between the Pages" themed box. Not only are three books included, but as are five lifestyle items, one specifically from small shops, and three exclusive items. 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.
Pavi Sharma's Guide to Going Home by Bridget Farr - Retail Value $16.99 (found here for $11.24)
When thinking about traits I hope to instill into my kids, empathy is at the top of the list. From the beginning, I have chosen books from all walks of life to help show my boys just how beautiful and unique we all really are. This particular novel "Pavi Sharma's Guide to Going Home" was a particularly moving one to us. While no one in our immediate family has experience with the foster care system, a lot of my students do, and this was a real eye opener. Twelve-year-old Pavi Sharma is an expert when it comes to the foster care system. After being bounced around from family to family, she starts a "business" teaching other kids all she has learned. When she runs into a five-year-old girl that is set to be placed with a horrendous family Pavi has past experience with, she sets out on a personal mission to protect Meridee. Though heavy in context, the author did a fantastic job at creating a moving, humorous, and heartfelt novel that really opens one's eyes. Hank and I read this together, and he gained an entire new insight on just what some of his classmates might be going through.
The Tiny Mansion by Keir Graff - Retail Value $17.99
The second book we received was a hardcover copy of "The Tiny Mansion". Written about a 12-year-old girl that has to uproot her life to head into a tiny home among the redwood forests of Northern California, this fast-paced book was full of interesting characters and surprises. Full of adventure and twists, this book entertaining from start to finish for Hank. Because my cousin and his wife do live in a tiny home, the basis was easy to imagine, but the challenges were fierce. Enjoyable to read, and a great one to have on our bookshelf!
My Family and Me: A Family History Fill-in Book - Retail Value $9.99
Hank is a natural writer and likes to ask a lot of questions, so our favorite inclusion this month was the family history fill-in book. I have purchased something similar to these in the past for my parents to fill out (though I'm pretty sure they haven't even started yet), so Hank was happy to have one of his own. Writing your own story can be difficult, but with the tips and tricks they suggest at the beginning of this book, Hank became an expert interviewer. Not only does this ask generalized questions about your family, but it also includes word jumbles, family related trivia, and more. Very fun, and already halfway filled out!
The Works Custom Gifts Bookish Pillowcase
Hank is an avid reader, and when he starts a book series, he gets into it. While he's generally a rule follower, I have busted him reading under his blankets with a flashlight and honestly have a hard time being mad. Discovering this "I read past my bedtime" pillowcase was not only perfectly matched, but adorable. Hank giggled as soon as he read it and put it on his pillow right away. Soft and good in size, it fit his down pillow perfectly, adding a little personality to his bed set, all while being extremely useful.
Bookish Themed Pick-Up Sticks Game
We also received a game of pick-up sticks featuring a Roald Dahl quote, which were custom-made for this month's theme. While the box is made of a thin wood that is easily damaged (there was a slight breakthrough in the top), the game pieces worked well, and the directions were easy to follow. Because I love games almost as much as I love books, I liked the inclusion, though wish the quality was a tiny bit better.
Vinyl House Sticker
How cute is this book and house sticker? It fits perfectly with the theme! I immediately snatched this guy up and stuck him to my laptop. I am a homebody, and this sticker gives me all the feels!
To add to our button collection, this month's gem features the "Between the Bookends" kids underneath a rainbow. Adorbs, and perfect for my jean jacket!
Fidget items are all the rage, and I honestly didn't think anything would beat the avocado pop-it keychain we received last month, but this pineapple sequin one is pretty darn close. About 5 years ago, when the reversible sequin trend started, my mom bought me 2 sequin Christmas pillows that were the most popular item passed around that year. Portable but just as fun, this pineapple shaped keychain is addicting to feel, and looks pretty cool on a backpack zipper.
Last but not least, we received a simple bookmark to keep away the pesky page folds in our reading. I think we all need the friendly reminder that we can face our fears, and this bookmark does just that.
beTWEEN the bookends gender neutral box has been absolutely amazing. Hank gets so excited to dive in, I can barely get the photos taken before he's tearing into the box. This month's theme was fun and appropriate, and the book choices were awesome. Because we do some homeschooling in the summer, Hank was able to cross off some reading BINGO squares by reading his new books on his new pillowcase in his pajamas and filling out his family history book. All of this month's goodies were ones that he enjoyed - especially because he kicked my butt at pick-up sticks. This box is not only fun but is a definite incentive to get kids that aren't huge fans of reading into trying new books. I can't wait to see what the "Reading Under the Stars" theme looks like next month!
The beTWEEN the bookends gender neutral box costs $37.00 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.
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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 July box.
What did you think of the BeTWEEN the Bookends gender neutral box?