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beTWEEN the Bookends Early Reader Review: “Life is a Movie, You are the Star!” August 2023

Becca Peterson
ByBecca PetersonAug 14, 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 "Back to School" promos in all directions, I can't happen to wonder where the summer has gone. I swear I just wrote the June review for the beTWEEN the Bookends box, and now we're heading into the middle of August! How does one encompass August in a book box, might you ask? With a theme like "Life is a Movie, you are the Star!" That's how! Filled with a ton of fun bookish goodies and two new reads, this month is sure to leave you star struck. Read below to see what we discovered in the August 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


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. "Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th." - Julie Andrews <--- isn't that the truth?!

The Wainscott Weasel - by Tor Seidler - Retail Value $16.99


Bagley isn’t your typical trouble-making weasel—and he doesn’t mind if his non-weaselly ways prompt teasing from his friends. For while other young weasels dance under the pines, Bagley thinks about Bridget, the mesmerizing fish who lives in a pond down the brook from his den. As the two unlikely friends grow closer, Bagley realizes that there is big trouble in Bridget’s future. Only a true hero can save Bridget from the gruesome fate that awaits her, and this is exactly what Bagley, much to his own surprise, proves himself to be.

Originally copyrighted in 1993, this beautifully written and illustrated hardcover book is geared towards kids ages 7-12. With a Charlotte's Web feel, Charlie and I read this together and enjoyed it immensely. Well written, creative, and slightly old fashioned, this weasel and fish tale was a little intimidating for Charlie to read because it had small print and large pages, but made for an excellent read aloud. Great inclusion!

Just Grace Gets Crafty by Charise Mericle Harper - Retail Value $15.99


Grace has lots of new and exciting things to share in the latest addition to the Just Grace series! There's a new crossing guard in town named Marie who needs a bit of help making friends, a fun substitute teacher for Miss Lois, and most exciting, Grace and Mimi are going to have their own table at the craft fair! They are going to make lots of crafts to sell—and hopefully save up enough money to go to the county fair. There is one small problem, though—Mimi is a sewing natural, but when it comes to crafting, Grace doesn't know what to make. Leave it to Grace to come up with a great idea for the fair that is a big success, and even helps the new crossing guard find a friend.

We love, love, love book series, so we were excited to give "Just Grace Gets Crafty" a try. While Charlie is an 8 year old boy (and most of his hobbies include hunting, fishing, and farming), he is definitely an equal opportunity book reader and loves anything from Nancy Drew to Junie B. Jones to Hatchet. Easier to read than the first included book, this story about Grace really hit home for my boy. With our local county fair coming up - he too has been crafting like crazy to earn some money and ribbons. Not exactly the same situation, but very close to identify with! With a Junie B. Jones feel, this story was really fun to read as it also contained some graphic novel type illustrations and writings. Perfect for kids 6-10, we are definitely going to be checking out the rest of the books in this series!

Amish Country Popcorn Kernels


If there is one snack my Charlie loves, it is popcorn, so you better believe receiving this package of Amish Country popcorn made this boy's day! Popping 4 quarters of delicious corn, this was honestly some of the best popcorn with have ever had. Featuring a beautiful rainbow blend, the kernels were multi-colored and had the best flavor. Perfect for snacking on while reading or watching a movie, this was a perfect inclusion for this month's theme!

Popcorn Popper


To be honest, when we received the popcorn kernels, I was a little worried about how we were going to pop it. My worries erased when I read this months pamphlet and discovered this exclusive silicone object is actually a popcorn popper! Featuring the quote "Don't Judge a Book by its Movie", it is complete with two overlapping flaps to contain the kernels in the microwave! Though useful and fun, I do wish some directions for use were included. We poured about 1/4 cup of kernels into the silicone popper with a tablespoon of butter and heated up for about 2 minutes until most of the popping stopped. This worked well and tasted fantastic!

Popcorn Themed Pencil Pouch


Adhering to the movie/popcorn theme, Charlie also received a popcorn themed pencil pouch. 9" X 3.5" in size, this pencil pouch fits Charlie's colored pencils perfectly and is really cute. The only problem Charlie found with this mini bag is that the word "Popcorn" is spelled "Popcorm".  Whoops!

Monthly Sticker Pack


Always a fan of stickers, Charlie was intrigued by the "Comedy and Tragedy" masks sticker. He also really liked the star. Helping add a sense of flair to the monthly letter to grandma, he loves loaded up the envelope for all the mail people to see. Sweet little boy!

Exclusive Tote Bag


Tote bags are always a useful item, and this exclusive design is really cute. With "The Book was Better" printed multiple times along with a television and book, this bag is perfect for an Aldi run, toting toys around, or packing clothes for camping. We used it for the latter, and it worked great. Helping us stay organized, this fun bag again fits in well with this month's theme.

Popcorn Themed Erasers


How stinkin' adorable are these little popcorn grip cap erasers?! Looking super realistic, this was another ones of Charlie's favorite inclusions. Contained in a little popcorn box, we loved the varying shapes, and with something so fun he actually didn't mind talking about the dreaded "Back to School" situation we have coming up!

Magnetic Furry Face Friends Duo


The last item we received was this set of magnetic furry face friends. Charlie loves stuffies and this magnetic ones were something new to him. While they do stick together, he felt they needed to be placed onto our fridge, and now hold up the kids' baseball pictures. Whatever works!


Summer is almost over, and while I had good intentions on adhering to a strict at-home summer curriculum, our busy schedule just couldn't make it work. Though we didn't get to do as many projects as I would have liked, the boys did manage to read at least 30 minutes a day. beTWEEN the Bookends Early Reader box has really been a lifesaver when it comes to sending good books that my kids enjoy along with fun goodies. This month's theme was really fun and Charlie was a fan of everything. While we loved both books this month, with a theme like "Life is a Movie, You are the Star!" we thought a book that is actually a movie would have been maybe a better fit, though still enjoyed everything. 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 $5.55 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 September 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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