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beTWEEN the Bookends Tween “Reading in a Digital World” Review – June 2023

Becca Peterson
ByBecca PetersonJun 9, 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: 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.)

June has arrived, and with it is summer vacation! After a fun, yet long, school year, we are super excited to sleep in and enjoy some down time (when baseball isn't in session of course.) Because the statistics of the summer slide are terrifying, I am extremely excited to add the beTWEEN the Bookends box to our summer school curriculum. Featuring new books and a heap of awesome lifestyle goodies, this box always impresses. Read below to find out what this month's awesome theme included!

First Impressions


The contents of this box are packaged neatly in turquoise tissue paper and sealed with a sticker featuring clip art 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 check it out!

Here's What's Inside

Welcome Pamphlet


Each month we receive a pamphlet describing all items included in each box. It is color coordinated and laid out very nicely. Featured on the back is a quote by John F. Kennedy: "Man is still the most extraordinary computer of all." Fitting with this month's theme, it is a great quote, and one that is so very true. Also included was a theme for next month's box. By the looks of it, we are heading in a summer fun sort of direction, and I can't wait!

The Midnight Brigade by Adam Borba - Retail Value $16.99


Carl Chesterfield wishes he could speak up—whether that means being honest with his father about the family's new (and failing) food truck, reaching out to a potential friend, or alerting others to the fact that monsters might be secretly overrunning his hometown of Pittsburgh. There's plenty to fret over. And plenty to question. When a flyer about a mysterious monster-seeking group called the Midnight Brigade catches his eye, Carl sees an opportunity to find answers. Little does he know, his curiosity will lead him to find an incredible discovery under one of his city's magnificent bridges and to be bolder than he ever imagined. Chock-full of humor and heart, this is the quirky tale of three unexpected friends and the crankiest troll with a heart of gold.

A very interesting and adventure-packed read, this novel was one that Hank was a little hesitant about in the beginning because of the conflict between the parents and his school suspension, but came to enjoy the characters and mystery. This read did have a lot going on, but bridged the gap between childhood and pre-teens very nicely. As an adult, I too enjoyed it and look forward to reading future works by Adam Borba.

Con Quest! by Sam Maggs - Retail Value $16.99


Cat and Alex are excited to be at the world’s most popular comics convention―and they’re even more excited to compete in the Quest, a huge scavenger hunt run by their favorite nerdy celebrity. The big prize: a chance to meet him! The twins ditch their older sister Fi and set off to find geeky clues, tackle nerdy challenges, and cross as many items as possible off their Quest list, which includes volunteering at an Artist Alley booth, gathering cosplayers in enough colors to make a double rainbow, and actually finding something healthy to eat in the convention center! Can the twins work together even when they disagree on how to compete? Will Fi find Cat and Alex before their parents realize they’re missing? Most importantly, can these ultimate fans complete the ultimate Quest?

Hank isn't huge on comics or super heroes, so this book wasn't exactly his style. He did start it and made it a few chapters in, but just couldn't get into it. Honestly, there haven't been many books that this subscription has sent out that we didn't enjoy, so this was bound to happen at some point, and I'm 100% sure that my students at school will find this appealing and I will share it with them.

Exclusively Designed Book/Tablet Sleeve


Back in the old days, I reviewed a couple of young adult book boxes for myself and received a super cute paper airplane book cover that the kids have been really jealous of. June was their month because they both received a pirate ship comic version for themselves! Used to protect books or tablets, this thick and colorful sleeve fits large books and keeps them safe in overstuffed backpacks. A great inclusion that fits in with this month's theme, we loved this item and found it extremely useful.

Monthly Sticker Pack


Stickers are always a fun inclusion, and this month's are a little different than some of the others we have received. With full quotes, these are great reminders about the importance of reading and feature some really cute clipart. Perfect for notebooks, laptops, or water bottles, they really add a ray of sunshine onto whatever item you are adding it to!

Custom Notebook


We do a lot of writing and are always in the market for a new notebook. Created exclusively for beTWEEN the bookends, this pretty notebook is the perfect size to stick in a backpack for travel, or haul around outside. Hank has been using his for his daily journaling and appreciated the philosophical quote the cover states.

Paperclip Set


Paperclips aren't something Hank typically uses, so he passed them on to me. Shaped like little airplanes, these colorful clips will be fantastic for clipping homework packets together and add a bit of flair to an otherwise boring item. And just read that quote, how cute!

Pop-it Eraser


The last item that was included in this month's gender neutral Tween box was a pizza slice pop-it fidget. With two pop-able pepperonis, this pizza is also an eraser! Fun to play with and functional, Hank has utilized this eraser with his journal and was happy to have it included.


beTWEEN the Bookends is always a surprise, and this month was no exception. While some of the items were a bit of a stretch for the "Reading in a Digital World" theme, Hank enjoyed one of the books, and most of the lifestyle items, his favorite being the book sleeve. Though he didn't enjoy the Con Quest! book all that much, it will be passed on to someone who enjoys that genre of books, which works for me. If you have a child that doesn't like to read, or absolutely loves reading, this subscription box is for you. Not only are the book choices great, but the lifestyle items make reading extra fun, all while being useful. We already can't wait to see what's in store for July.

The beTWEEN the Bookends gender neutral box costs $37.00 per month, including shipping. Because the books alone are valued at over $33.98, 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 July 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 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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