beTWEEN the Bookends Early Reader “A Bookish Halloween” Box October 2022 Review (2024)

beTWEEN the Bookends Early Reader “A Bookish Halloween” Box October 2022 Review (1)

beTWEEN the Bookends overall rating Ratings | Reviews

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 AND Gender Neutral Box.

These boxes were sent to us at no cost to review. (Check out our editorial guidelinesto learn more about how we review boxes.)

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      Halloween is upon us, and nothing suits me better than a holiday themed story. As an adult I love the sappy Christmas romances by Debbie Macomber, but as an educator and mom I am obsessed with funny Halloween stories and parodies which this month of"beTWEEN the Bookends" delivered! This month I also had an extra surprise - the full size version of "A Bookish Halloween" box, AND the gender neutral version. Shaking it up a bit, we will take a look at the similarities and differences between the two boxes through a spooky good time. Read below to find out what we discovered.

      First Impressions

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        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. The gender neutral version is wrapped in turquoise paper and features a boy and girl on the sticker.

        Here's What's Inside

        Welcome Note

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          Each box arrives with a welcome note that includes the theme title and all of the included contents. This month's theme is "A Bookish Halloween" and includes three books. The gender neutral box includes the same items that the full size version does, but the full size version includes two extra goodies that are usually geared more towards girls. Along with the month's contents, also listed is the theme for the following month, and thebeTWEEN the Bookends social media info.

          The Little Leftover Witch by Florence Laughlin - Retail Value $6.99

          When Felina, a little witch, breaks her broom on Halloween and can’t fly home, she is stuck with the Doon family and their black cat, Itchabody, for an entire year. Although she’s homesick and unhappy, the Doon parents and their daughter, Lucinda, do their best to make Felina feel welcome. (And she has no trouble with Itchabody at all!) As time passes, the mischievous Felina learns what it means to be part of a family—and how, with love, she will always belong.

          I was really excited to see this book featured in this box because it was originally published in 1971 and I read it as a young girl! Having forgotten some parts, it was a really cute book to share with my kids, and Hank and Charlie both enjoyed it. I also want to note that it is worth 2 AR points for the Accelerated Reading program!

          Junior Monster Scouts: Monster of Disguise by Joe McGee - Retail Value $5.68

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            A carnival has come to The Village, complete with a fun house! But what the villagers don’t know is that Baron Von Grump is behind it. If the villagers won’t be silent on their own, he’ll hypnotize them and finally get the peace and quiet he needs! When Junior Monster Scouts Vampyra, Wolfy, and Franky go to the carnival with their new friend George, the Invisible Boy, they can tell not everything is fun and games. Everyone is under some kind of spell! Can the little monsters beat Baron Von Grump’s mesmerizing fun house mirrors and free the villagers?

            Fitting enough, Charlie wants to dress up as Frankenstein for Halloween this year. He was pleasantly surprised to discover that his costume goal was featured in this month's book! Perfect for the month of October, Charlie and I read this out loud to each other as it is a little advanced for his reading level. While other books in this series have AR quizzes available, this one does not, but is still a great read!

            Hardy Boys Clue Book: The Great Pumpkin Smash by Franklin Dixon - Retail Value $9.98

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              Frank, Joe, and their best friend Chet are attending Bayport Zoo’s annual Halloween carnival. Frank and Joe have a routine planned for Scaryoke, and Chet has entered the pumpkin pie-eating contest—he even brought his own whipped cream! After their performance, Frank and Joe go to check out the painted pumpkins on display. But when the brothers enter the tent, they see their Scaryoke song wasn’t the only smash hit at the carnival. The floor is littered with bits of pulverized pumpkins! What’s worse, the organizer says that unless the culprits are caught by the end of the day, this will be the last Boo at the Zoo…forever! Can Frank and Joe find out what happened before it’s too late? Or is this pumpkin crime unpatchable?

              When Charlie discovered a Hardy Boys tale in this month's box, he was over the moon. We have listened to a few of the original Hardy Boy books on audiobook, but because they are geared toward an older audience, he didn't understand some of the subject matter. These clue books are perfect for Charlie's age range, and still have a mystery to them. We read this entire book while driving to western Minnesota for a fishing trip, and though my voice was getting tired, Charlie begged me to keep reading. Not only was the story line perfect for Halloween, but they have questions throughout the book to keep kids engaged.

              Monthly Button

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              Look at this cute little Halloween button! Featuring a stack of books, a cup of coffee (or cocoa), and a witches hat, you have all of my favorite October things on one adorable accessory. Big in the 90s, the button phase seems to be coming back, and while I wear them on my jean jackets, the boys prefer them on their library book bags.

              Halloween Drawstring Bag

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                When we first unfolded this bag, I'll be honest, the kids were a little underwhelmed. These drawstring bags are everywhere, and most of them are cheaply made and rip right away, so they moved onto the next item. However, as we were rushing off for our fishing trip, we needed something to throw our books, notebooks, pencils, and toys into for the back seat, and this large drawstring bag worked perfect. It's made from a thicker nylon than other varieties, so our sharp edged books and pencils didn't poke through or cause the bag to stretch. We had a heavy load packed into this guy, and it cinched tight kept all of our items neat and organized. Since our trip, we have also used this to store 2 changes of kids clothes, and parade candy. It's versatile, cute, and useful, and the kids appreciate it a lot more now than when they first came across it.

                Pencil Set - Retail Value $1.79

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                  What would Halloween be without fun themed pencils and erasers? Definitely not as fun! Here we received a set of 4 spooky pencils with 2 round eraser toppers. Because I am not above bribery (and Charlie hates practicing his spelling words), I sharpened one of these bad boys and gave it to Charlie to take a practice test with - and guess what - the kid was actually EXCITED! Thank you BeTWEEN the Bookends, you may just have stopped another gray hair from popping up on my head!

                  Monthly Sticker Pack

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                    Also included each month is a set of stickers that are created with the month's theme in mind. With stacks of books and extra spooky things like ghosts, potions, candles, and bones, we were given 3 medium sized stickers to add to our sticker collection. Will they decorate a notebook or be sent in a letter? It's anyones guess!

                    Jack O Lantern Cut Out Craft by The Works

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                      Sticking with the pumpkin theme, we received a custom made "Build Your Own Pumpkin" kit. Included was a 4" X 4" wood square with vinyl face pieces. While I'm not sure what you do with this when complete (we set it up next to a vase of flowers on our table), it was fun to create our own faces. It also came in handy as a design template for our real pumpkins, as the kids just can never decide just which eye shape to choose!

                      Bookmarks

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                        The last item that the gender neutral box contained was a bookmark. Not pertaining to this month's theme, each box received a different one. We appreciate the inclusion as Charlie tends to want to dog-ear the pages when he doesn't have a book mark on hand - this keeps our books in much better condition!

                        Items included in the Full Size box, but NOT the Gender Neutral version

                        Skeleton Keychain

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                          Pom poms are all the rage, and I love that they include these in the full size box so frequently. They add a charismatic flare to anyones backpack, and I love that they sent a skeleton for October. Even though I am 34, I still love my accessories, and have worn this on my backpack to school and received a billion compliments from my 3rd and 4th graders. (Gotta stay in style you know!)

                          Halloween Air Dough Kit - Retail Value $3.95

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                            The last item we received for the month of October was an Air Dough Mummy kit. Not only does this little guy glow in the dark, but it's the softest and lightest modeling dough on Earth! With easy to follow instructions, this is a great inclusion to an already awesome box. Because we have been incredibly busy the last few days, Charlie asked if we could save this for the weekend paired with some popcorn and Hocus Pocus 2. I'm in!

                            Verdict

                            With fall in the air and Halloween almost here, we couldn't wait to see what thebeTWEEN the Bookends Early Reader box would deliver and Charlie was pretty pumped. With a perfect variety of Halloween themed books, fun crafts and lifestyle items, both the full size and gender neutral box were great. I loved the keychain, while Charlie took on the mummy project. Besides being entertaining, this box has truly inspired my youngest to read and for that I am so thankful. Though I'm not ready for the snow to fly, I'm already looking forward to seeing just what they have in store for the November "Thankful for Books" theme. What do you think they will include?

                            The beTWEEN the Bookends Early Reader Full-Sized box costs $50.00 per month, including shipping, while the gender neutral version costs $42.50. 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 $4.54 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 Isign 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 and gender neutral boxes?

                            beTWEEN the Bookends Early Reader “A Bookish Halloween” Box October 2022 Review (2024)

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