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beTWEEN the Bookends Early Reader Review: “Summer Time is Reading Time” July 2023

Becca Peterson
ByBecca PetersonJul 12, 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.)

"Summer Nights" by Rascall Flatts first came to mind when I discovered this month's theme for the beTWEEN the Bookends box, and it really does capture exactly what summer is about. Does your child like awesome new books and delightful bookish goodies? Then you are in for a treat! Read below to see what we discovered in the July 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. Adorbs.

Here's What's Inside

Welcome Pamphlet


To start off the box, we go through the included pamphlet. Describing the month's theme and the contents of every Between the Bookends version, this little book lets us know exactly what the box contains, along with a bookish quote, social media info, and a hint about next month's theme. "Cause a little bit of summer is what the whole year is all about." - John Mayer

Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew - The Circus Scare by Carolyn Keene - Retail Value $5.99


The circus is coming to River Heights! The flyers claim this circus will be the biggest and best show around, with the funniest clowns, the cutest animals, and the most daring acrobats. Nancy and the Clue Crew can't wait to see it! But when the performers are forced to go on without some very important props, Nancy begins to wonder, Is someone clowning around with this circus? She's not sure, but one thing is certain -- what Nancy and the Clue Crew discover proves that the circus really is the greatest show on Earth!

As a girl I read a ton of Nancy Drew books, and have shared a few of them with Charlie. He loves a good mystery and enjoyed them, along with the Hardy Boys. This Nancy Drew book was a bit definitely not as action packed as the originals, but made for a cute story geared toward the 6-9 age range. Charlie was into this book as it featured a circus and George (his favorite Nancy Drew character). A good fit for a summertime read!

Fish Finelli (Book 1) by E. S. Farber - Retail Value $6.99


When the Whooping Hollow town bully, Bryce Billings, bets Fish Finelli that he can't find Captain Kidd's treasure, Fish and his best buds Roger and T. J. must embark on a quest to find the long-lost booty! Between sneaking into the library to track down Captain Kidd's treasure map, stowing away on a boat, and trespassing on the legendary Lyons Island, Fish and his friends are up to their necks in "goose poop" on this adventure!

Charlie has found himself a new favorite series! Featuring a boy named "Fish", this adventure takes them all around Lyons Island. Reminding me slightly of a Hardy Boys adventure, this was fast paced and fun. With a few illustrations, this kept Charlie entertained and he is now interested in reading the other books in this series.

Mega Maze Adventure! by Scott Bedford - Retail Value $14.95


Not just a maze––the book itself is a maze! A portal opens on the front cover, and the maze continues through every page, making this the world's longest maze in a book. Every spread is a journey through an imaginative world: there's Robot World and Butterfly World, Ski World and Underwater World, Dragon World and Skyscraper World. Filled with hypnotic details, hidden surprises, fun facts, and bright, swirling, richly-colored details, every page is a compelling adventure. 

Speaking of adventure, we received a third book this month, and it was filled with mazes!! Printed on thick card stock, this awesome book features a journey through the world's longest maze in a book! Exploring 14 different worlds through portals, Charlie loved this book and completed a lot of it while traveling to my mom's house. With interesting facts and exciting designs, we are really hoping they come up with a second version of this awesomeness.

Heart Shaped Popsicle Mold


Summer time is the time for popsicles, and Charlie was definitely here for this inclusion! Though heart shaped, he loved that this silicone mold came with a stick and cover to prevent sloshing. He immediately poured Dr. Pepper in to freeze for a cold treat, but soon discovered it needs more than 2 hours to fully freeze. Don't you worry, he has another one solidifying as we speak!

Scooter Pen


We have a couple of scooters that the kids have spent hundreds of hours zipping around on, so this scooter pen was really relevant. With a wheel cap and push top handle bars, this blue pen not only stands up on its own, but can be scooted around too! Adorable!

Exclusively Designed Tapestry


Large in size and very bright and colorful, this library tapestry was exclusively designed for the BeTWEEN the Bookends box. With grommets for hanging, this fits in with the summer adventure theme nicely. Because the kids already have their walls filled with decor, we couldn't find a place to hang this, but might trim it down a bit and make a pillowcase out of it instead.

Monthly Sticker Pack


Sticker packs are our favorite, and these designs are perfect for summer. Featuring a beach ball, smiley face, and sunglass wearing watermelon, you can't help but smile when looking at them. Perfect for notebooks, lap tops, or envelopes, the kids always find a use for these and especially liked this month's designs.

Boba Sealife Toy


Fidgets are life for Charlie, and he couldn't get enough of this squishy dolphin. Filled with turquoise gel beads, this squeezable toy is awesome for concentration and stress relief. Not only were the kids impressed, but I was too!

Hatching Sea Turtle


Last summer, Charlie's summer dream was to see a turtle in our yard. We live no where near water, so I told him it would be nearly impossible to find a turtle in our yard. He literally prayed about this for weeks, and one July morning, we had a painted turtle in our yard by our garden shed. Charlie's fascination with turtles and animals has not changed, so he couldn't wait to hatch this cool turtle egg. Instantly, he placed his egg in water, but didn't wait the 12-24 hours for it to hatch, he instead cracked the egg and ripped it out immediately. He toted it around with him to the sandbox, and now finally has it back in water to see if it will grow. Charlie, Charlie, Charlie.



The final item we received wasn't listed in our pamphlet, but was one we appreciated during these hot summer days. This vinyl fan folds up to the size of a spoon and has little pink fuzzy characters on it with the word "summer". With parades and baseball games coming up, he was happy to store this in my purse for when he gets just too hot. Cute!


Summer is here, and while I try to stick to an at-home summer curriculum throughout the summer to keep from the dreaded summer slide, it has been really hard. Between baseball, our new puppy, and just plain old life, my biggest goal right now is to "Stop, Drop, and Read" for 30 minutes a day. beTWEEN the Bookends Early Reader box has really been helping us achieve that goal, and this month the book picks were extremely on point for Charlie. This box is always a surprise, and one that keeps my kids newfound love of reading going strong. Through this subscription we have discovered new authors and brands that we otherwise would have probably missed. If you have a kid that loves reading, or is struggling to find books they enjoy, we highly suggest this box, as 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 August 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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