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.)
This morning the alarm clock rang at 5:05 a.m. and I was sluggishly getting ready for my first day back at school. While the three of us enjoy school, it was extremely hard to let summer vacation go. Excited and a little tired from the big first day, we were happy to get home to rest, only for Hank to get stung under the eye by a bee. What an addition to an already stressful day! Quickly turning it around, we headed to the mailbox to discover this month's beTWEEN the Bookends nestled happily inside. Bringing cheer to a pretty sad little guy, Hank excitedly dug through this month's box while holding an icepack on his face. Read below to find out what we received in this month's "Back to School"-themed September 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. The anticipation of seeing what's underneath this tissue paper always has us on the edge of our seats. We just can't wait to dive in!
Here's What's Inside
This month's welcome note shares with us all that is included in this "Back to School" themed box. Not only are three books incorporated, but as are six lifestyle items, including three specifically from a small shop. 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. (I'm already looking forward to the "Bookish Halloween" theme coming in October!
Under Locker and Key by Allison K. Hymas - Retail Value $17.99
Jeremy Wilderson is not a thief. In fact, he is his middle school’s one and only retrieval specialist. Confiscated cell phones, stolen lunch money—he’ll discretely retrieve it before the last bell rings. Business is good, and if it weren’t for the meddling of preteen private investigator Becca Mills, he’d be happier than a gym teacher on dodgeball day. But a new job shatters his comfortable lifestyle. Now, thanks to Jeremy, the master key to the schools’ lockers is in the hands of an aspiring crime kingpin who doesn’t exactly have Jeremy’s strong moral character. Soon not even combination locks can protect the students’ textbooks and jackets. Retrieving the key is too big a job for one crime fighter, and only one person wants the key returned as much as Jeremy does: Becca Mills. Lockers are being robbed, the teachers are looking for the culprit, and the only person Jeremy can turn to is the girl who most wants to see him in the principal’s office. Will Jeremy be able to trust Becca enough to get the key back in the right hands? Or could he end up in detention until the end of high school instead?
Hank and I started reading this novel together aloud, and of course we were instantly hooked. Not many books have characters with the name Becca, and because that happens to be my name, I just had to start reading this piece right off the bat. Allison does a really good job at describing each scene, making it feel like we are actually there for ourselves. Being back to school, some of the scenes are a little too real, and some just made me laugh out loud because they are utterly true. With a fun and suspenseful storyline, we are really enjoying this novel, and were happy to see you can AR test on this book for 7 points. Bonus!
Mightier Than the Sword by Drew Callander and Alana Harrison - Retail Value $13.99
You wake up in the fictional land of Astorya, where stories from our world come to life. You're a real human being (we assume), and in this fictional world, that makes you a superhero. Armed with your trusty pencil, you have the power to create what you write, draw, or scribble in the book becomes part of the story! Only you can rescue Prince S. from the evil Queen Rulette. Aided by the Couriers--a French stoat with dangerous dance moves, a giant dung beetle, a fire ninja, a Pegasus-centaur-cowgirl and a super-intelligent femalien chameleon--you must write, draw, and puzzle your way through a hilarious adventure and prove that the pencil is mightier than the sword.
Mighter Than the Sword is one of the most peculiar books I have ever read. With a strange plot and premises, I wasn't quite sure where this descriptive book would lead. Hank was ready to give up on it after the first chapter, but I talked him into giving it more of a shot. Discovering that having a pencil gives you powers to create what you write, draw, or scribble was sort of a mind twist, and I was encouraged to keep reading. Making it about halfway through the book, it is quite intriguing, but also quite bizarre. I'm interested to see just how this tale ends!
Talk to the Book - Retail Value $9.99
Get to know yourself better by reflecting on and writing down answers to the questions inside this fun fill-in title.
As a pre-teen and teen, I was obsessed with these types of journals and I admit, I kind of wanted to start filling this out for myself right away. Giving Hank the opportunity to take this journal on, he declined and gifted it to me, which I was probably a little too excited about. With in-depth prompts and fun ideas, I feel like this book is a great way to divulge inner feelings, without burdening a friend. Giving me the ability to look back on my answers, I am excited to start writing a few of these things down to see how I grow as a person in the coming year.
Working in the school, I wear my badge on a lanyard, so it was pretty convenient one came in this month's box, especially because it was perfectly school themed. Not only does it have adorable cartoon paint palettes, scissors, shoes, beakers, and apples, but it also unclips to become more portable as a keychain. I sort of, kind of took this from Hank, but he said it was fine. Maybe once he finds a use for it, I will give it back, but until then, I am going to wear it.
Reusable Snack Pouch
Last year, all kids received hot lunch for free because there was extra funding due to Covid. Now because that is over, it's back to cold lunches for the boys. Always on the lookout for alternatives to plastic baggies, we were really pleased to receive this zip up food pouch. Featuring a quote by C.S. Lewis and some pertinent clip art, we were excited to utilize this in our lunch boxes, saving us money and helping the environment, all while looking really cool.
Predict a Pen
My ultimate favorite sloth in the world is Dash from Zootopia, and this pen reminds me of him. Squishy and cute, my son doesn't usually get to write with pens in his classroom, but he wanted to bring it anyways for free drawing. With alternating quotes, this pen was something I had never seen before, and I was happy it was included.
Monthly Sticker Pack
The sticker pack this month was colorful and did not disappoint. Featuring frogs wearing backpacks and hoodies, it presented a middle school student to a T. Being a bit larger in size than some of the previous stickers, I didn't have room on my laptop to add one, but I have them in a "saved" pile for when we need to do more folder or book cover crafts.
Sticking with the frog theme, we also received a little chubby frog pin that's holding what looks like a lunch box. Another addition to my ever-growing collection of pins, my jean jacket is starting to look really spectacular!
T-Rex Water Bottle
Last, but certainly not least, was Hank's favorite lifestyle item in the box - this T.Rex water bottle. With a unique shape and design, the hole is off to the side and held shut by a yellow cap. Packing up nicely, an d looking cool, Hank loved this item and brought it to school to enjoy during snack time.
Because we love quirky items and books, we have found beTWEEN the Bookends to be one of our favorite subscriptions. With fun and relatable themes, we have received so many intriguing items we would otherwise never have discovered. The book choices have been carefully chosen and thought out as well. We have definitely appreciated the fact that while we are huge readers in the household, we have never received a book that we have already read. As I mentioned above, I work in education and see the importance of being able to read on the daily, so I will continue to shout the benefits of this subscription from the rooftops! With such a great curation this month, we can't wait to see what's included in next month's "A Bookish Halloween" 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 October box.
What did you think of the BeTWEEN the Bookends Gender-Neutral box?