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beTWEEN the Bookends Tween Review: “Book’s Best Friend” November 2023

Becca Peterson
ByBecca PetersonNov 11, 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 $45 per month + free US shipping ($40.00/mo for the 12-month subscription track) while the Full-Size box is $55 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.)

November is in full swing, and with it is a layer of snow that I wasn't quite ready for! With basketball season also ramping up, our break in sports is over, and we are ready to get crazy! All of this busyness can't break our excitement over this month's beTWEEN the Bookends though! With a very intriguing theme of "Book's Best Friend", we couldn't wait to dig in. Featuring new books and a heap of awesome lifestyle goodies, this box always impresses. Read below to find out what this month's fun 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 E. B. White - "Life is always a rich and steady time when you are waiting for something to happen or to hatch." So true right? Also included was a theme for next month's box... winter fun!!

The Leopard Behind the Moon by Mayan Paasewe-Valchev - Retail Value $16.99


No one knows what lies beyond the magical village door, but Ezomo is determined to find out. Mayonn Paasewe-Valchev’s debut is an unforgettable coming-of-age story about friendship, family, and long-standing traditions. The power of storytelling comes to life in this novel perfect for fans of Erin Entrada Kelly, Tracey Baptiste, and Tae Keller. There are three important laws in Ezomo’s village: Do not go to The Valley, do not go out at night, and never, ever, ever open the magical door that protects them all. But when Ezomo encounters the leopard believed to have killed his father, he and his two best friends embark on a journey that leads them past the boundaries set by their elders. With his friends by his side, Ezomo chases after the leopard, certain that it has the power to cure all. But in the process, he discovers the truth about his village. And that cautionary tales exist for a reason. Mayonn Paasewe-Valchev’s debut novel balances a gripping adventure with themes of friendship, community, identity, grief, and resilience. Poignant and memorable, Ezomo’s story will appeal to fantasy lovers and readers of Grace Lin and Kelly Barnhill.

With a slight Encanto/Moana/Jungle Book feel, the beginning of this book has started out with interesting characters and moves quite swiftly. While Hank and I haven't finished this book yet, we both have liked the writing style, and are really getting into the story. Featuring cultural traditions, and a basis of resilience, this is so far a great read, and Hank and I are looking forward to finding out what happens next!

Sherlock Bones and the Natural History Museum by Renee Treml - Retail Value $7.99


Sherlock Bones and his sidekick, a stuffed parrot named Watts, live in a natural history museum. So when the precious Royal Blue Diamond goes missing, they are first on the case. What they don’t expect is Grace, a silly, new-to-the-scene raccoon who keeps getting in the way. Even worse, Bones and Watts learn that if the diamond isn’t recovered, the museum could (GASP!) close! Can they find the diamond before they’re forced to find another home?

Both of my boys are "Bad Guys" enthusiasts, so when we cracked this book open and saw the comic style pages, fun illustrations, and similar humor, they were both fighting over this book. Because Hank is older (and this is his box) he got to read it first, and has loved it since page 1. With silly characters, and a fun plot, I barely saw my child put this down until he was finished, and Charlie has been the same way. Win!

Chicken Nugget Dino Plush


At first I didn't quite understand what this stuffy was, but after reading the content card and seeing "Chicken Nugget Dino" I obviously figured it out. Hilarious and snuggly, this guy really looks like a Dino chicken nugget. Perfect to snuggle with before bed, coupled with a good book, I can see how these would pair, especially because kids these days are oddly obsessed with chicken nuggets. What a goofy and fun inclusion!

Squishy Eraser Friends

In 5th grade, you do a lot of writing, so I have already noticed erasers quickly diminishing. These goofy-looking squishy erasers are here to save to the day! With gummy bellies, the eye balls and bodies can be used to erase, with a quick fidget feel. Hank was excited to add these to his pencil box, and asked if he could share the blue one with one of his buddies.

Monthly Sticker Pack


We really enjoy the monthly sticker packs, as we like to customize our notebooks, so these are usually a hit. We've noticed that lately they include a lot of quote stickers, which as an adult I enjoy, but Hank is hoping for more clipart types with less writing. Overall, really cute, and fun to use.

Lotion Bar


Finally, a lotion Hank doesn't mind putting on! Living in Minnesota, the air gets soooo dry in October/November, and our skin really suffers. Hank HATES lotion, but this "Monkey Farts Solid Lotion Bar" has changed his mind. Made with shea butter, coconut oil, beeswax, and monkey farts fragrance oil, this doesn't actually smell like a fart (thank goodness) but has a fruity scent that rubs on easily. Fingers crossed Hank will continue to enjoy using this and keep that scaly skin away!

Animal Spinning Pen


The last item included in this month's Tween box was a hilarious hedgehog spinning pen. With a swivel top, this spiky dude spins round and round and looks ill. With green vomit spewing from his mouth, Hank thought this was out of control funny and had a fun time making this guy sick. With a regular sized nib and black ink, this pen writes nicely and is quite entertaining.


beTWEEN the Bookends is one of our favorite subscription boxes of all time, and this month featured some hilarious items. Filled with engaging books and funny lifestyle items, Hank was really fond of this month's theme. Enjoying both books, and all of the lifestyle items, he is hoping for more funny items like this in the future. Overall, we found this to be a very nicely curated box, and love the fact that it includes fun and functional items. We can't wait to see what's in store for December!

The beTWEEN the Bookends Gender Neutral box costs $40.00 per month (on a 12-month subscription track), including shipping. Because the books alone are valued at over $24.98, I find the $40.00/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 December 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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