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.)
My oh my, how in the world is it already August?! With only a couple weeks left before school goes back into session, we have been busy cramming every last item on our summer bucket list into the way too short of days. With extra time spent in the car, this month's "beTWEEN the Bookends" came just in time. Per usual, Jillian does a fantastic job at choosing books that are gender-neutral and gauged to the proper reading level, while also including fun and interesting lifestyle items. Truth be told, I enjoy digging into this box just as much as my boys do, and even may snatch a few of the items for myself from time to time. Read below to find out what we received in this month's "Summertime Fun" themed August box.
The contents of this box are packaged neatly in blue tissue paper and sealed with a sticker featuring both a boy and a girl. Hank couldn't wait to dig into this month's gender-neutral box to see just what was included.
Here's What's Inside
This month's welcome note shares with us all that is included in this "Summertime Fun" themed box. Not only are three books incorporated, but as are six lifestyle items, three specifically from a small shop, and two 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.
The First Last Day by Dorian Cirrone - Retail Value $17.99
What if you could get a do-over—a chance to relive a day in your life over and over again until you got it right? Would you? After finding a mysterious set of paints in her backpack, eleven-year-old Haleigh Adams paints a picture of her last day at the New Jersey shore. When she wakes up the next morning, Haleigh finds that her wish for an endless summer with her new friend Kevin has come true. At first, she’s thrilled, but Haliegh soon learns that staying in one place—and time—comes with a price. And when Haleigh realizes her parents have been keeping a secret, she is faced with a choice: do nothing and miss out on the good things that come with growing up or find the secret of the time loop she’s trapped in and face the inevitable realities of moving on. As she and Kevin set out to find the source of the magic paints, Haleigh worries it might be too late. Will she be able to restart time? Or will it be the biggest mistake of her life?
To me there isn't anything more satisfying than sitting down with a hardcover book and divulging into a story that takes you to an entirely different place, sucking you in to an almost different realm. Making it even more satisfying is being able to share these magical experiences with family, and that is exactly what we did through this book. My 9-year-old son has been struggling with the idea of growing up. He has mentioned wanting to stay 9 forever, and this book really gave him something to think about. As Soren Kierkegaard said, "Life can only be understood backward, but it must be lived forward." An easy read that really gives a person a lot to think about, I as an adult enjoyed this book just as much as Hank did, and he now realizes that it's fun to grow up, and that no matter what he will always be my baby.
Side Tracked by Diana Harmon Asher - Retail Value $7.99
If middle school were a race, Joseph Friedman wouldn't even be in last place--he'd be on the sidelines. With an overactive mind and phobias of everything from hard-boiled eggs to gargoyles, he struggles to understand his classes, let alone his fellow classmates. So, he spends most of his time avoiding school bully Charlie Kastner and hiding out in the Resource Room, a safe place for misfit kids like him. But then, on the first day of seventh grade, two important things happen. First, his Resource Room teacher encourages (i.e., practically forces) him to join the school track team, and second, he meets Heather, a crazy-fast runner who isn't going to be pushed around by Charlie Kastner or anybody else. With a new friend and a new team, Joseph finds himself off the sidelines and in the race (quite literally) for the first time. Is he a good runner? Well, no, he's terrible. But the funny thing about running is, once you're in the race, anything can happen.
Like I mentioned above, we have been extra busy this month, and because of a recent trip to the bookmobile, we weren't able to get to this book just yet; but it sounds really good! Because Hank enjoys sports of all sorts and is on his way up to middle school, I feel this will be a perfect fit for him and can't wait to sit down and read it when we have a tiny bit more time.
Picture Maze Puzzles for Vacation - Retail Value $6.95
Double your fun with these special picture puzzles! First, kids can enjoy the challenge of completing a maze. When they’re finished solving the puzzle, they can color in the correct path and see a cool image hidden inside.
Hank really enjoys mazes, so he was really excited to get this book and was surprised to see that they had actual hidden pictures in them. We are not familiar with this type of book, so it was a real treat to discover the umbrella drawn out on maze number one! While he was a little worried he might screw it up, the maze itself wasn't as difficult as it looked, and it took a familiar concept but added a fun twist making it all the more exciting. We also discovered they have an entire series of dot-to-dot, word search, sudoku, crossword puzzles, and hangman games for sale with the same vacation theme. We will definitely be checking those out!
Extendable Marshmallow Roaster
How stinking cute is this marshmallow roaster?! With an extendable metal fork and custom "Read S'more Books" handle, this was definitely the favorite lifestyle item in the box. Fitting absolutely perfect with the "Summertime Fun" theme, you can bet these forks will be used during the upcoming weekend to roast a plethora of marshmallows, maybe even during a read aloud!
Another custom item we received this month is this cute pin banner created by "The Works Custom Gifts." Featuring the quote, "A Book is a Dream That You Hold in Your Hand," and the beTWEEN the Bookend characters, this banner is about 8" wide and hangs from a wooden dowel. Because Hank has knee walls in his room, there isn't a lot of wall space to hand items such as these, so I nabbed this up to hang up in my classroom. The saying is excellent and will be the perfect addition to my wall near my bookshelf!
Because popsicles are a staple of summertime, we also received a set of two popsicle hooks. While these hooks are really cute, I'm a little worried about sticking them to the wall as I'm not sure just what type of adhesive is on the back. Hank mentioned bringing the blue one to school to stick in his locker, and I think I feel a little bit better about that than applying it to our newly done drywall. Did anyone else give these a go? What do you hang on your hooks?
Monthly Sticker Pack
Pertaining perfectly to the summer theme, we also received a set of summer vinyl stickers. Great for adding to cards and artwork, these stickers are bright, cheery, and cute.
Octopus Pencil Topper Set
I can't even! These little octopus pencil toppers are adorable. Just look at those little lips! Totally reminding me of the Paw Patrol episode where the pups save the baby octopus, this set of 5 pencil toppers features different colored octopi with different facial expressions and accessories. Definitely spicing up a pencil, Hank can't wait to stick these in his pencil box.
Ice Cream Putty
My kids are obsessed with slime and admittedly, so am I, so when we discovered these mini popsicles open up to reveal a slime-like putty, our minds were blown. Lightly scented, and so squishy, this translucent putty isn't sticky or messy. Perfect for in a purse or backpack in case of a boredom emergency, the slime fits back into the popsicle case perfectly, securing with the addition of the melting top. Fun!
Last but not least, we also received a yellow and black fidget spinner. Strikingly resembling Charlie Brown's shirt, this fidget is quite addictive to spin. Another small item that packs well in a backpack for long bus rides, it makes for another great incentive to finish a book!
We love the gender-neutral version of the beTWEEN the Bookends Tween box, and this month was no exception. I am truly in awe at just how perfect the book choices were for us this month, and like always, enjoy the lifestyle items. Hank is already halfway through the maze book and can usually be found either spinning his fidget toy or playing with the slime. Like I have mentioned previously, reading is very important to me as a parent, and instilling a love of books into my kids is one of my passions. Because I work in education, I see how reading can be a struggle, so I am all about incentives for reading, which is where the included lifestyle items come into play. Thoughtfully curated, and perfectly themed, we enjoyed all of the items in this box, and can't wait to see what is included in next month's "Back to School" theme. What did you think of this month's box?
The beTWEEN the bookends gender-neutral box costs $37.00 per month, including shipping. Because the books alone are valued at over $32.00, I find the $37.00/month cost very reasonable as the extra lifestyle items help shape the receival of this box into an entire experience.
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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 September box.
What did you think of the BeTWEEN the Bookends Gender-Neutral box?
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