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beTWEEN the Bookends Early Reader Review: “Peace, Love, and Reading” May 2024

Becca Peterson
ByBecca PetersonMay 14, 2024 | 0 comments

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 as the full-sized boxes but will have only 3-5 gender neutral lifestyle items.

The Cost: $45.00 per month for the gender-neutral box + free US shipping (on a 12-month subscription). Save with longer subscriptions.

This review is of the beTWEEN the Bookends Early Reader gender-neutral 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.)

We are three short weeks away from summer vacation, and if you couldn't tell, I am extremely excited. While my boys scurry to hit their AR goals, I am busy tying up loose ends. With books flying off our shelves, Charlie was really excited to see this month's beTWEEN the Bookends box on our doorstep to get him a little closer to his goal. Filled with awesome new books and fun lifestyle items, this box was perfect for reaching those goals, and becoming a more fluent reader. Read below to see what we discovered.

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 is 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

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. "Peace can not be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding." - Albert Einstein

Amelia Fang and the Rainbow Rangers by Laura Ellen Anderson - Retail Value $12.99

Amelia is going on a trip with her Rainbow Rangers troop (led by unicorns Ricky and Graham) to Sugarplum Island! But while exploring to earn their badges, Amelia and the gang stumble upon an ancient curse - and are shrunk to the size of bugs! How will they make the bloodcurdlingly BIG journey to break the curse when they are all so very TINY?

Charlie enjoys fantasy fiction, so this vampire tale was perfect for him. Perfect for kiddos 7-12, this book is entertaining and fun. He really enjoyed the illustrations, and liked the "Transylvania" feel of this particular book. Also, it is worth 3 AR points, which inched him closer to the end of the year party!

The Sparkle Dragons by Emma Carlson Berne - Retail Value $7.99

Meet the Sparkle Dragons: the spunkiest crew in all of Princess Puff's queendom! Trixie is fierce with brains and beauty. Rue is tough as nails with a heart of shimmering gold. And, last but not least, Glinda, who often has her head in the clouds, but her out-of-the-box problem-solving can be her strongest asset. With their unique powers combined, they are an unstoppable force! And let's be honest: fighting off bad guys with glitter beams can be pretty hilarious . . . and sticky! Bad guys can be quite clever in this queendom, but the Sparkle Dragons don’t miss a trick. When the Rain River is polluted with polka dots, Robert—not Bob—the Troll takes the heat for it. But he says he is innocent! Not to worry—the Sparkle Dragons are hot on the tails of the true culprits. That is, if Princess Puff and her unicorn BFF will stop getting in their way. How can the Sparkle Dragons fire up a rock-solid case to prove Robert's innocence and find out who is really at the bottom of these polluting polka dots?

Charlie likes super hero type books, and this silly dragon story featured a storyline that kept him intrigued even if they were named the Sparkle Dragons. With bad guys, mysteries, and fun illustrations, this is a great fit for kids 6-10 years old. While not AR quizzable, Charlie felt the short amount of time it took him to read this title was definitely worth it.

Ramen Fidget

Fidgets are a huge hit in our house, and this ramen noodle pack was no exception. With five colors of squishy noodles, this fidget is stretchy and bright. Packable for the car and in the classroom, these are a great way to reduce stress and anxiety, all while being quiet. A definite win!

Monthly Sticker Pack

Charlie loves stickers, and this month's pack fit the "Peace, Love, and Reading" bill perfectly. With a cute design and bright color, these are great for adding to envelopes, folders, and pictures for grandma!

Custom Tote Bag

Tote bags are wonderful for shopping and toting things around, so we always enjoy receiving these in subscription boxes - especially when they are as cute as this! Featuring two kittens reading a book, this was very well designed and the material was quite thick. We love "bookish" quotes and were in need of a new library bag, so this was a great inclusion.

Tetris Game

Tetris is a game from my past, and this puzzle version was a really cool one to share with my kids. Fitting together perfectly, these wooden shapes can be manipulated to create designs that are featured on the back of the board. Colorful and small, this is a great puzzle for the car, though the pieces would be best packed in a bag. Overall, Charlie really enjoyed creating patterns and playing around with this puzzle.

Tie-Dye Fidget Spinner

Like I mentioned above, Charlie loves fidgets, and while the ramen noodle ones were cool, this tie-dye fidget spinner is amazing. With bright colors, a spinning mechanism AND a pop it feature, Charlie is obsessed with this toy. Perfect for on the go, in the car, and use during quiet time, this fidget does it all, and really keeps Charlie entertained for a long amount of time.


beTWEEN the Bookends is one of our favorite subscription boxes of all time, and this month Charlie really enjoyed both book inclusions. The included lifestyle items were a great mix of fidget and fun, and all fit the monthly theme quite well. Overall we thought this box was curated nicely. We already can't wait to see what's in store for June!

The beTWEEN the Bookends Gender Neutral box costs $45.00 per month (on a 12-month subscription track), including shipping. Because the books alone are valued at over $22.98, I find the $45.00/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 June box.

What did you think of the beTWEEN the Bookends 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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