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beTWEEN the Bookends Tween “Make Your Own Kind of Music” January 2023 Review

Becca Peterson
ByBecca PetersonJan 16, 2023 | 2 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: The Gender-Neutral box is $37.00 per month + free US shipping while the Full-Size box is $44 per month. 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 don't know about you, but reading is one of my favorite winter time hobbies. With the cold Minnesota temps, there is nothing better than coming in from the frigid cold to snuggle on the couch with a warm cup of cocoa and read a good book. Thankfully, my kids agree with this statement, and to make it an even sweeter escape, beTWEEN the Bookends has come to the rescue. Featuring new books that kids are sure to enjoy along with lifestyle goodies, this box never disappoints. Read below to find out what we received in this month's "Make Your Own Kind of Music" themed January box.

First Impressions


The contents of this box are packaged neatly in turquoise tissue paper and sealed with a sticker featuring clipart of a boy and 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

Welcome Pamphlet


New this year is a pamphlet featuring all of the month's goodies rather than a postcard. Describing all of the items included in the different variations of boxes, it was fun to see the other recommended titles. Featured on the back was a quote by Taylor Swift, along with a hint for next month's theme, and the BeTWEEN the Bookends website information.

The Campaign by Leila Sales - Retail Value $16.99


For 12-year-old Maddie Polansky, the only good part of school is art class. And though she’s never paid much attention to politics, when she learns that the frontrunner for mayor of her city intends to cut funding for the arts in public schools, the political suddenly becomes very personal. So Maddie persuades her babysitter, Janet, to run for mayor against Lucinda Burghart, art-hating bad guy. Soon, Maddie is thrust into the role of campaign manager, leading not only to humor and hijinks, but to an inspiring story for young readers that talks about activism and what it takes to become an engaged citizen. Maddie and Janet’s adventures on the campaign trail are illustrated by copious black-and-white drawings throughout the book.

What a great book! Featuring a relatable and understandable way to get kids involved in government, Hank really enjoyed the storyline along with the fun illustrations. This was a fantastic way to dive into politics with younger students in a non-partisan way. Honestly, this probably wasn't a book my son would have chosen on his own, but he did learn a lot and found it really enlightening.

Read Something Else by Lemony Snicket - Retail Value $14.99


Life is a turbulent journey, fraught with confusion, heartbreak, and inconvenience. This collection of wit and wisdom from New York Times bestselling author Lemony Snicket is unlikely to help. It includes a new introduction filled with curious aphorisms, a handful of never-before-seen-or-heard quotations, and fan favorites from works over the years. These dubious offerings, collected from Snicket’s books, unpublished papers, and more, have been made pleasing to the eye by illustrations, select fan art, and design flourishes.

This book was a little different than what I was expecting, but in a great way. Filled with beautiful illustrations and pieces of wisdom, it was a really quick read, but also very fun. Hank didn't understand some of the witty quotes, but I found it perfect for my desk at school. A great inclusion!

Vinyl Sticker

What a cute sticker! Looking back on most of the past boxes we have received stickers in almost all of them, and the kids love it. Plastering them to notebooks, folders, and pictures, one can never have enough stickers. This one features this month's theme, and is in the shape of a record. Hank didn't know what a record was, so it was a great time to dive into the history of music while checking out this box.

Headphones Bookmark


One of Hank's favorite inclusions this month was this Beat Mark bookmark. Featuring an earbud, cord, and plug-in made of rubbery plastic, this flat bookmark lays perfect between pages of a book securely. With the ear bud nestled outside the book, this is quite the conversation piece, and has done a fantastic job at keeping Hank from dog-earing the pages!

Wooden Coaster

Fitting in with the music theme, also included was this wooden coaster with the quote "Where words fail, music speaks." While I love the quote and the look of this coaster, this is one item we haven't really found a use for as we don't really use coasters.

Fidget Slug Keychain

Fidgets are everywhere in our school, but this was our first experience with one like this. Featuring plastic cup shapes strung together with elastic, you are able to snap the plastic pieces together for a fun (or annoying) sound. Hank appreciated the fact that it was attached to a keychain so he can tote it around on his backpack.

Drum Sticky Notes


Drum roll please! (See what I did there?!) This was definitely the favorite lifestyle item this month, because let's get real: it's a drum sticky note set! Such an eccentric way to display a notepad! Hank was obsessed with this, and had a lot of fun drumming on the paper before writing me notes. Super cute and very unique, we loved this item!


As a mother and educator, to me, reading is one of the most important life skills. Without the ability to read, a lot of other basic life skills will become much more difficult, as I have seen with many of my students. You can learn to do just about anything through reading, and I want to ensure my kids will be successful in this skill. beTWEEN the Bookends has made this task much easier, as they choose fun and interesting books, along with unique lifestyle items. Hank always looks forward to the items this box contains, and particularly liked this month's music theme. The book choices were a little different than he was expecting, but he liked them both, along with the bookmark, post it notes, and fidget. We continue to be throughly impressed with this box, and can't wait to see what they have in store for February.

The beTWEEN the Bookends gender neutral box costs $37.00 per month, including shipping. Because the books alone are valued at over $25.00, I find the $37.00/month cost very reasonable as the lifestyle items help shape this box into an entire experience.

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 Tween Gender Neutral 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. I love all things outdoors, beauty, crafts, and food. And absolutely adore my high school sweetheart! 

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My daughter gets this box and loves it! We are on her second year, as it was a repeat request for a Christmas gift!! She isn’t a coaster user either, but loves displaying them on her bookshelf as roon decor

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Thanks so much for commenting Julie! I’m glad your daughter loves this box as much as we do! And the coaster display is a great idea! Charlie has a shelf in his room that this would work perfect on!

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