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beTWEEN the Bookends Early Reader Review: “Booktober” October 2023

Becca Peterson
ByBecca PetersonOct 19, 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: $55.00 per month for the full-size box + free US shipping (on a 12-month subscription). 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.)

It's official - fall is here! With less than three weeks left in the first quarter of school, it seems as though life is flying by in a blink of an eye! Cross country just finished up last week, and we are now in a lull before basketball starts up. It's amazing how rejuvenating a break in a schedule can be! As we headed to Walmart the other day, we took notice that stores seem to be bypassing fall and instead are jumping right into Christmas, so we were pleasantly surprised to receive an awesomely spooky "Booktober" themed beTWEEN the Bookends to keep us in the current season! Filled with awesome new books and fun lifestyle items, this box was perfect for October. Read below to see what we discovered.

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. "Books to the ceiling, books to the sky, my pile of books is a mile high. How I love them! How I need them! I'll have a long beard by the time that I read them." - Arnold Lobel.

Happy Halloween Glow in the Dark Puffy Stickers Book - Retail Value $6.99


How cool is this book? Charlie was really excited to dive into this Halloween activity book, and loved the cardstock activities, clipart, and stickers. While geared for kids 3+, some of the activities were deemed a little babyish, but he still liked filling it out. Different and fun, we loved that this was specific to Halloween and had a lot of fun working on it.

Secret Explorers and the Comet Collision by SJ King $5.99


This group of brilliant kids comes together from all four corners of the globe to fix problems, solve mysteries, and gather knowledge all over the planet - and beyond. Whenever their help is needed, a special sign will appear on a door. They step through to the Exploration Station and receive their mission...In The Secret Explorers and the Comet Collision, space expert Roshni leads a mission that's out of this world - literally! With rainforest expert Ollie, she is set the task of fixing the space probe orbiting Jupiter before a comet hits the planet. With the clock ticking, it's a race against time for the Secret Explorers as they dodge asteroids, complete daring spacewalks, and use all their skills to complete their mission. Packed with fun illustrations and facts about real-life missions to Jupiter, this thrilling adventure is perfect for young readers. Informative diagrams tell kids all they need to know about important elements of the story, such as how spacesuits work. The action-packed narrative keeps kids engaged and makes learning about space even more fun!

Charlie has been reading up a storm lately, and I am so thankful. In second grade he really struggled, but with the enticement of AR points and earned rewards, he grew to love books. This space book was really fun for Charlie to read and was perfect for his level. There were a few pictures, and the font was easy on the eyes. The story started quickly and Charlie liked the group of kids and space theme. Overall, he really enjoyed this book!

The Goblin Princess Smoky and the Dragon Baby - Retail Value $8.95


Series:Everything is topsy-turvy in Goblin world and Matty, the Goblin Princess, just doesn't fit in! Her mum, the Goblin Queen, is always telling her to un-tidy her room and eat up her slug porridge (yee-uk!). Most of all goblins HATE nice things, including their enemies the sparkly Forest Fairies. book 1:Matty has a problem. Her new pet baby dragon, Smoky, is far too good and her parents, the Goblin King and Queen, are threatening to send him away! But Smoky is her best friend - can she find a way to make him naughty enough to keep? She just might need the Forest Fairies' help...

Perfect for Booktober, "The Goblin Princess" was a story that had beautiful illustrations and featured all the fun things like goblins and dragons. With large font, colored pages, and awesome pictures, Charlie enjoyed this quick read even if it did have "princess" in the title. While not AR quizzable, Charlie really did like this book and is interested in reading the second book in this series.

Cat Pen


Black cats are one of my favorite parts of Halloween, so this kitty pen is perfect fit to this month's theme! Long and slender in size, this pen features a tiny kitty head on the top with large, gold eyes. The nib is incredibly tiny, so it works well for writing lists, doodling, and fine details. To be honest, it looks extremely cute in my pen cup and has been the utensil of choice at school!

Sticker Pack


Stickers are always a hit, and this month's owl version was definitely Charlie's favorite. While he likes quotes too, he passed those off to me and added the owl to his reading folder. A fun inclusion that always gets used up, we always look forward to the design of the month.

Handmade Beaded Bookmark


I love handmade items, and my kids appreciate them as well. This fancy beaded bookmark features a tree and leaf charm and is a little bit stretchy. Perfect for keeping a page in a book, this adds a little bit of flair to a book compared to a paper bookmark, and keeps pages clear from the dreaded corner folding!

Exclusive Wooden Picture Frame


Created exclusively for Between the Bookends, this wooden picture frame has the quote: "Every Picture Tells a Story... What's Yours?" layered on the top and bottom. Because I am a terrible picture printer, we haven't yet filled this magnet frame, but plan on adding a family pic from our trip to North Dakota.

Pumpkin Coin Purse


As a family of pumpkin farmers, this coin purse was perfect for us! While Charlie appreciated the pumpkin aspect, he doesn't really need a coin purse, so he passed it off to me, and I was a-ok with that! Featuring a small orange zipper and ball beaded keychain, I added some quarters for the arcade in and stuck it in my purse for a Pizza Ranch fun night!

Cat Hair Clip


Sticking very closely to the "Booktober" theme, a black cat hair clip was also included. Donning a red, sparkly bowtie, this handsome cat sticks straight up and is pretty dang cute in the hair. Charlie did stick this in his mullet for a mere second, but quickly passed in onto me. Though I am 35 years old, I still wear headbands and hair accessories daily, and will be wearing this on Halloween with my pumpkin printed dress.

Butterfly Wish Necklace


With the next item, it seems as though this box was curated especially for us. Back when my boys were toddlers, we read about Monarch butterflies and how many caterpillars are eaten in the wild. To help save a few butterflies, we started collecting caterpillars and raising them in our home. Over the years we have hatched over 50 butterflies, so this pretty little necklace was really close to our hearts. Including a small gold chain and a pretty little charm, this necklace is pretty on its own, and the "Beautiful" poem adds another element of sweet. A great inclusion to an already great box!

Sheet Mask

The last item we received was one of my favorites as an adult. I love sheet masks, and I am familiar with Bubble T ones, so I was happy with this inclusion. Charlie did lay it on his face for a second, but got scared, so I was able to snatch it up. Featuring niacinamide and organic aloe vera, this mask was cooling and rejuvenating, all while smelling like berries. After use, my skin did feel more hydrated, and I wouldn't be sad if Between the Bookends included this item again!


With fall in full swing, we are finally getting into a routine, and life is feeling a little more structured and less stressful. In this new season, beTWEEN the Bookends Early Reader box really hit it out of the park for the October box. Including items that are useful and functional, I (as a girl) found this curation to be spot on. Charlie enjoyed a lot of the items, and was happy to share the ones he didn't like with me, which is always a bonus. Between the well chosen book titles, and fun lifestyle items, this box was very well done. If you have a kid that loves reading, or is struggling to find books they enjoy, we highly suggest this box, as it makes reading enjoyable and fun.

The beTWEEN the Bookends Early Reader Full-Sized box costs $55.00 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 a piece. Because of the thoughtful curation, fun theme, and enjoyable products, I feel the $55.00 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 November 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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