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beTWEEN the Bookends Early Reader “Make Your Own Kind of Music” Box January 2023 Review

Becca Peterson
ByBecca PetersonJan 17, 2023 | 0 comments

beTWEEN the Bookends
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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: $50.00 per month for the full-size box + free US shipping. Save with longer subscriptions.

This review is of the beTWEEN the Bookends Early Reader Full Size box. 

These boxes were sent to us at no cost to review. (Check out our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we review boxes.)

With a new year in full swing, I am having all the "new start" feelings. Everyone in my family made a New Years resolution based on reading, and Charlie couldn't wait to see what this month's "beTWEEN the Bookends" box would contain, as his goal was to read more than two chapter books each month. That means if he reads both included books plus one more off of our home shelf, his goal is made, plus he gets a ton of fun bookish goodies. Winning! Read below to see what we discovered in the January box.

First Impressions

As the full-size box is curated with girls in mind, this version comes wrapped in bright pink tissue paper featuring a pigtail-donning cartoon sticker. Cute!

Here's What's Inside

Welcome Pamphlet


2023 has seemingly come with some changes to the Between the Bookends Box, and this pamphlet is one of them! With bright and cheery clipart that describes this month theme, the inside includes all of the goodies included in each of the several versions of this box. A little different than the typical postcard, I did like seeing the books included in the other boxes as I know they are coming recommended. The back features a quote by Taylor Swift, and a hint for new month's theme.

Heidi Heckelbeck Has a New Best Friendly by Heidi Coven - Retail Value $5.99


A new family moves in next door and Heidi is excited to meet them. They have a daughter Heidi’s age! Her name is Bryce Beltran, and she’s Heidi’s super nice, super talkative new neighbor. After spending the day together, Heidi promises to introduce her to Lucy and Bruce. But on the first day of school, things don’t go as planned. Bryce is convinced that her so-called best friends aren’t very good ones and tries to get in between them. Can Heidi help everyone get along before she loses them all?

Charlie was a little skeptical of this book as he pulled it out of the box because all the glitter. I told him to give it a chance, and he decided because of the large font and easy type, he would give it a try. Charlie loves Junie B. Jones, and as hoping this would be just as funny. Sadly, this book wasn't as comical as the beloved Junie B., but it did contain a lot of similar friend group drama some of the second graders in my son's class are going through. With life lessons spun in an easy to understand way, Charlie got more out of this book than he initially thought, and gave it two stars on his AR quiz.

Jeanie & Genie Relax to the Max by Trish Granted - Retail Value $17.99


Super-studious Jeanie accidentally makes a wish that she could relax like her classmate, Max. In a flash, Willow grants the wish and suddenly, Jeanie is so not herself… she’s showing up to school in her PJs, passing notes in class—and she doesn’t even care about her favorite things, books and homework, anymore! Will Willow be able to reverse the wish and turn Jeanie back into her old self again?

Jeanie & Genie also featured two girls on the cover, but Charlie was happy to read about the boy Max in this clever tale. It hit pretty close to home too, as Charlie is a bit like Max, while my oldest son Hank is just like Jeanie. Easy to read, and relatable, Charlie blew through this book in a flash, but was disappointed to see it not AR quizzable yet. That just shows how hard Between the Bookends really works to get new books sent out to kids via these boxes!

Vinyl Sticker

In previous boxes, we have received quite a few sticker packs. This month, however, we received a single vinyl sticker that is custom made for this box. Featuring the "Make Your Own Kind of Music" theme, this cute record decal was lost unto Charlie, as he doesn't have much experience with records. This did lead into a great conversation about the history of music though!

Headphones Bookmark


One of Charlie's favorite items in this month's box was this "Beat Mark" bookmark. Flexible and different in design, it's rubber texture holds tightly in the book, while securing the page. With an ear bud and pretend plug in, it's wacky and cute and perfect for this month's theme!

Wooden Coaster


Like I mentioned above, Charlie's lack of music knowledge had us take a dive into music history, and while he didn't know what a record was, he has seen a DVD/CD before. This wooden coaster, which was also made custom of this box, has the quote: "where words fail, music speaks", and I couldn't agree more.

Mint Chocolate Bath Bomb


All hail the bath bomb!! Charlie was suppppper pumped to see this included in this month's box, and while we couldn't really come up with how a mint chocolate chip cookie bath bomb fit into the music theme, he was more than happy to have it. Large and in charge, his bath water smelled amazing, and he was one happy reader!

Fuzzy Bear Pen


Like I mentioned above, my kiddos are complete opposites. Charlie is my wild child, and Hank is more reserved. Hank took one look at this pen and rolled his eyes, but Charlie immediately put it in his backpack to bring to school. This fuzzy bear is a little challenging to hold onto, but looks totally awesome, and really can't be lost as it is the wildest pen we've ever owned!

Hair Tie Set


Charlie has a buzz cut, so these cute little hair ties are a no-go for him, but they are darling and have found themselves a good home with one of my students. With little emoji type charms, my favorites were the chicken and the pumpkin. Because my son doesn't know when to keep his mouth closed, he did exclaim that the peach looked like a butt crack, so I kept that one at home to steer away from any funny comments.

Cassette Sticky Notes


Quite fittingly, we also received a packet of cassette sticky notes with a pencil. Because I still have "The Scorpians: Greatest Hits" cassette, we were able to take a look at it and rewind it with a pencil. While I don't have a cassette player at the moment, you can bet that has since gone on my garage sale find list (which of course we started on the cassette player sticky notes!)

Fidget Slug Keychain


Looking back at this box, there were so many awesome treasures, this slug fidget included. This keychain is made up of plastic half spheres and has a little slug face. It is strung on elastic and snaps when pulled. Charlie is OBSESSED with this fidget. He hasn't let it go since he opened it and refuses to put it on his backpack because he needs it in his hands. I did notice it did help him not rush through his reading quite so much when holding it, so they do have a time and place!


I have to say, with January and our reading goals underway, this month's beTWEEN the Bookends Early Reader box has helped immensely with reaching our reading goals. While Charlie was a little skeptical with this month's books, he ended up enjoying both, and found them all too relatable. The extras this month were out of this world, and he has used everything besides the coaster. This box is always a surprise, and while it is aimed towards girls, Charlie gifts me the girly items he doesn't want, (which is perfect as I am a 12-year-old girl at heart). Through this subscription, we have came upon new favorite authors, and items that we otherwise would have never discovered. If you have a kid that either loves reading, or is struggling to find books they enjoy, we highly suggest this box, because it really makes reading fun.

The beTWEEN the Bookends Early Reader Full-Sized box costs $50.00 per month, including shipping. Because most items were small shop created specifically for this box, I wasn't able to calculate an accurate value estimate, but dividing it by the items we received equals to about $5.00 a piece. Because of the thoughtful curation, fun theme, and enjoyable products, I feel the $50.00 price range is definitely fair for the quality of this box and the number of items.

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 February box.

What did you think of the beTWEEN the Bookends full-sized box? 

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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-... read more.

Becca Peterson
Becca Peterson

I am a wild and crazy mom of 2 boys and work in the public education system as an Indigenous Support Advocate. I love all things outdoors, beauty, crafts, and food. Living the simple life in the country, we spend a lot of time hiking, camping, fishing, and hunting. Oh, and I absolutely adore my high school sweetheart aka my husband of almost 17 years!

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