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beTWEEN the Bookends Tween Review: “Legendary Adventures” January 2024

Becca Peterson
ByBecca PetersonJan 12, 2024 | 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 16-year-old creator. Full-sized 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-sized 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.)

January is upon us, and we're finally starting to get some winter-like weather here in Minnesota! With freezing rain and snow, it has been extremely relaxing huddled up on the couch as a family. When a case of the "I'm bored's" showed up, this month's beTWEEN the Bookends came at the perfect time. 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 Helen Keller - "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all." So true, right? Also included was a theme for next month's box... Valentine's Day and love, maybe?

Pilar Ramirez and the Escape from Zafa by Julian Randall - Retail Value $16.99


Twelve-year-old Pilar Violeta “Purp” Ramirez’s world is changing, and she doesn’t care for it one bit. Her Chicago neighborhood is gentrifying and her chores have doubled since her sister, Lorena, left for college. The only constant is Abuela and Mami’s code of silence around her cousin Natasha―who vanished in the Dominican Republic fifty years ago during the Trujillo dictatorship. When Pilar hears that Lorena’s professor studies such disappearances, she hops on the next train to dig deeper into her family's mystery. After snooping around the professor's empty office, she discovers a folder with her cousin’s name on it . . . and gets sucked into the blank page within. She lands on Zafa, an island swarming with coconut-shaped demons, butterfly shapeshifters, and a sinister magical prison where her cousin is being held captive. Pilar will have to go toe-to-toe with the fearsome Dominican boogeyman, El Cuco, if she has any hope of freeing Natasha and getting back home.

What a fun book! First off, we love receiving hardcover books because there is just something about having one held in your hands -it gives an official feel. Secondly - the story is amazing! While we haven't gotten through the entire thing yet, Hank and I are well on our way, and are completely enthralled in the richness of this adventure. With quite a bit of Spanish language, we love the cultural aspects, and the magic keeps you drawn in. Overall, we are loving this book and can't wait to see how it ends!

Odd Gods: The Oddlympics by David Slavin - Retail Value $13.99


Oddonis and his misfit friends don’t exactly love competition and they aren’t exactly athletes. So they’re definitely NOT excited when their middle school gets challenged to a sports competition by the Roman middle school on the other side of Mount Olympus. It’s bad enough that the Greek Odds have to compete against their Roman twins, but when Zeus and his Roman counterpart, Jupiter, get a little too involved, the Greek and Roman kids end up in a competition over who gets to run the WHOLE mountain. Will the Greek Gods and Odds find a way to work together to defeat the Romans, or will they have to leave their hilltop home…forever?

Hank has really been into Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, as well as Big Nate, and since he has read all of those, this was a perfect next step! With two books in the series, this was really funny and the illustrations were great. Hank is also huge into sports, so the Roman sports competition aspect was spot-on for him. Overall, this was a fantastic read, and we hope they include more books like this in the future.

Enamel Pin


Enamel pins are so much fun! I also have to say, the "Adventure" design hots the nail on the head. While it matches this month's theme perfectly, it also matches my life. Our family loves the mountains, and the colors depicted look great on a jean jacket. While this isn't something that Hank absolutely loved, I did! So he gifted it to me.

Page Holder

Honestly, I wasn't quite sure how to work this little device when we first opened the box. Made of a thick plastic with a well rounded hole in the middle, we played with it a bit before finally figuring out you put your thumb int he middle and place it on the bottom of the opened book. My thumb does get tired when holding a book open for long amounts of time, and this little contraption actually kept that from happening. While not probably necessary, Hank thought this was really fun, and now can't read a book without it.

Door Hanger

What a cute little sign! Small in size, this laser cut wood sign features a reading kitty and the quote: "On An Adventure, Do Not Disturb." Hank loved this inclusion because Charlie has been pestering him quite a bit lately, so this is his warning for a little privacy. Because he loves crafting, he is still trying to decide if he should add some color with some paints, but hasn't quite decided. Did you leave your sign plain, or spruce it up a bit?

Monthly Sticker Pack


We love stickers, and this month's designs were some of our favorites! Featuring a magical little creature, another mountain scene, and a stack of books, Hank especially loved the first two. Stocking up on stickers, he added a few of these to the envelopes of his birthday thank you notes, and loved the fun pop of color it added.

Bath Soak


After a bout of COVID in early December, we now have been hit with influenza AND strep throat. That being said, you can imagine that baths have been a staple in our house. Hank loves a bath bomb, but was really excited to add this "Lemon Mint Bath Salt" mixture into the tub, as it really cleans out the sinuses. Pretty in color, this is created with Epsom salt, lemon and peppermint essential oils, and pigment. Gentle on the skin, this created a really relaxing tub for Hank, and he felt better after soaking in this mixture for a while.

Lip Balm


The last item we received coordinated with the bath salts, and was a lip balm in the lemon mint scent. With a creamy feel, the ingredients used are coconut oil, shea butter, beeswax, and lemon and peppermint essential oils. The peppermint is noticeable and creates a tingly feel, but really works on hydrating chapped lips. A great inclusion for the dry winter months, both Hank and I enjoyed this lip balm and found it very useful.


beTWEEN the Bookends is one of our favorite subscription boxes of all time, and this month featured some really functional and amazing items that made our snow day a lot more fun. Filled with engaging books and cute lifestyle items, Hank was really excited by this month's theme. In addition to the two great books, he especially enjoyed the bath salts, lip balm, page holder, and stickers. 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 February!

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 $30.98, I find the $40.00/month cost extremely 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 February 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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