October Literati, aka The Last Box

This has been too many bad boxes. Tweaking his interests didn’t work. Rating books he’s read didn’t work. So we’ve given up and cancelled our account. It’s too bad. The boxes prior to the “tailoring” were great!(boxes onetwo, threefourfivesixseveneightnineteneleventwelve, thirteen, and fourteen).

The artwork and bookplates were pretty nice this month. Those have been consistently good. There was a Mad Libs type story that looks fun, too. But the books…

Last Things by Jacqueline West, An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson, and Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner. All three of these went back. It’s strange they say they tailor the books to the kid’s interests because all three of these are genres that he specifically did not pick. Jamie wonders if it’s actually that they get books from publishers cheap to push on kids no matter what their interests.

These two we kept. Slay by Brittney Morris and The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw. Honestly he was on the fence for both of them and we almost returned all five book. Hopefully these two will be good ones. It’s really disappointing how Literati Kids changed a few months ago.

September Literati Club Titan

Another terrible box. Once again, tweaking Adrian’s interests didn’t help at all. His selected interests are engineers, adventure, science, funny, history, mystery, humor, mazes, and biography and again he got mostly dark horror stuff. We took adventure off his list of interests and will give it one more month and that’ll be it. Adrian was like they used to be cool. But then they started the targeted interests and they’ve been decidedly uncool every since. (boxes onetwo, threefourfivesixseveneightnineteneleven, twelve, and thirteen).

The artwork is super cool. It came with a black light pen and the art has all sorts of images and things that show up when you shine the black light on it. Adrian was super happy with that.

The only book Adrian opted to keep was You Were Here by Cori McCarthy. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black and Now Entering Addamsville by Francesca Zappia sounded to dark for his interests. The books lately really tend to be focused on death (You Were Here is as well, but he thought it sounded good anyway because the characters aren’t undead or ghosts or zombies or whatever).

I thought he might be interested in Howl by Shaun David Hutchinson, but he saw the football field on the front and the whole monster theme and he just wasn’t into it. All That’s Left in the World by Erik J. Brown is a dystopian queer romance. It really didn’t fit in with the other books and Adrian had no interest in it because romance just isn’t his thing.

August Literati Box

This was the worst box yet! Tweaking Adrian’s interests didn’t help at all. His selected interests are engineers, adventure, science, funny, history, mystery, humor, mazes, and biography. We even took out fantasy and scifi to see if that helped. But nope. Every book this month was dark, gory stuff. Not at all what he is interested in and not at all like the month’s theme, Our Brilliant Earth. Another month or two like this and we’ll have to say goodbye to our Literati boxes. At least the first several months were good! (boxes onetwo, threefourfivesixseveneightnineten, eleven, and twelve).

Opening the box started out good. The colors were nice. The picture was attractive. There were fun activities included in the folder. But then we started going through the books.

We sent back four of the five books. Gallant by VE Schwab, Seven Deadly Shadows by Courtney Alameda, These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong, and Squad by Maggie Tokuda-Hall. Squad is a graphic novel and usually graphic novels are instant yeses for Adrian, but this was one he wasn’t interested in at all.

The one book we kept was Blood, Bullets, and Bones by Bridget Heos. It’s non-fictions about forensic science and sounds like it’ll be pretty good.

July Literati Box

Adrian has now gotten an entire year of Literati boxes (see boxes onetwo, threefourfivesixseveneightnine, ten, and eleven). Once again the books weren’t as great as they have been in the past. It’s interesting. They started doing more targeted boxes and since then we’ve had more misses than ever. I readjusted Adrian’s interests so hopefully August’s box will be better.

The theme this month was One A-Maze-ing Summer. The colors were nice and bright. There was a sort of game/puzzle included. It’s very confusing that they only provide three bookplates but five books in each box now. They used to give six.

This box included All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody and A Show for Two by Tashie Bhuiyan. Adrian wasn’t interested in A Show for Two at all so that one went back.

Also in the box was The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo. Adrian was on the fence about this one. He went back and forth and ultimately decided to keep it.

The final two books in the box were The Darkest Park of the Forest by Holly Black and Blood Metal Bone by Lindsay Cummings. He decided to keep both of those.

June Literati Box

Adrian’s eleventh Literati box arrived a couple weeks ago (see boxes onetwo, threefourfivesixseveneight, nine, and ten). This month’s books weren’t as great as the last few months’.

The artwork was pretty neat in this box as were the stickers/bookplates. There’s even a cute little game included.

The books in the box were The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried by Shaun David Hutchinson, Gideon Green in Black and White by Katie Henry,

Burn Down, Rise Up by Vincent Tirado,

The Girl From the Well by Rin Chupeco, and My Dearest Darkest by Kayla Cottingham.

We kept the first three and sent The Girl From the Well and My Dearest Darkest back. Those are just too horror and we are not really horror people here. Also, the cover of The Girl From the Well really freaks me out (I have a low tolerance for creepiness).

May Literati Box

Adrian’s tenth Literati box arrived a few weeks ago (see boxes onetwo, threefourfivesixseven, eight, and nine). We kept all five again this month.

Literati is transitioning to sending books more tailored to each kid (saves on returns). Adrian’s level is “Legend” which means he’ll get middle grade and young adult fiction, activity books, and graphic novels at or above grade level for his age.

The theme for May was Live Your Own Story. The art had three panels, one with a castle and dragon, one flying over a city, and one in a jungle (it’s always fun to find what in the books relates to the artwork). The matching bookplates and stickers are really pretty. There’s a card with a quiz to determine what character you are (hero, trickster, or explorer). Also included was a reading journal with space for drawing or writing about each book and stickers and story badges to decorate the pages (and three coloring breaks, one for every five books).

Spell Hacker by MK England sounds like a fun adventure, The Left-Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix sounds like quite the magical ride, and Feeder by Patrick Weekes sounds a bit crazy.

Another Kind by Trevor Beam and Cait May is a graphic novel (so sure to be Adrian’s favorite of the month) that sounds totally bizarre and Early Departures by Justin A. Reynolds sounds wild and also crazy emotional.

April Literati Box

Adrian’s ninth Literati box arrived a few weeks ago (see boxes onetwo, threefourfivesix, seven, and eight). We kept all five again this month.

This month’s theme was Embrace the Wild. Look at all those gorgeous greens! In addition to the art and bookmark, it came with a Mad Libs and and an origami kit.

The origami kit has some really pretty colors. The directions seem to be pretty easy to follow. Quite a fun addition to the books.

The books this month were Very Bad People by Kit Frick, How to Pack for the End of the World by Michelle Falkoff, Gone Dark by Amanda Panitch, Hoot by Carl Hiaasen, and Forgotten City by Michael Ford.

March Literati Box

Adrian’s eighth Literati box arrived a few weeks ago (see boxes one, two, three, four, five, six, and seven). This was another keep all five month.

As usual the art was gorgeous. The colors are so nice. It also came with a constellation activity to do. Not sure which of the books is about space. There’s always something in a book or an overall theme that inspire the art.

Killing Time and Nine were easy yeses. When We Were Magic was a bit of a debate, but ultimately he decided it sounded good and he wanted to keep it.

Redemption Prep sounds quite interesting and didn’t require any debate, but The Dire Days of Willowweep Manor was a yes before I even read the synopsis to him. It’s a graphic novels and graphic novels are always a yes for Adrian.

February Literati Box

Adrian’s seventh Literati box arrived a couple weeks ago (see boxes one, two, three, four, five, and six). We only kept three of books this month.

The poster, bookmark, and bookplates were fun as usual. I love the colors in the poster. The bookmark’s colors are pretty nice, too.

These are the three books we’re keeping. The Initial Insult and Rule sound pretty great. When I read the synopsis of One of Us is Lying to Adrian he responded “wow!” I was pretty excited about that one because it was on my Amazon wishlist. This month’s yeses require no debate at all.

These are the two books we sent back. We have both on Kindle already. I read Be More Chill in January and it was pretty much horrible. I offered to let Adrian keep The Fowl Twins in paper form if he wanted but he decided against it. Be More Chill was going back no matter what, that’s how bad it is.

January Literati Box

Adrian’s got his sixth Literati box a few weeks ago (see boxes one, two, three, four, and five). I can’t believe we’ve been getting these awesome books for half a year now! We kept all five books again this time.

The artwork packet came with some fun color-in postcards. The poster was fun to look at. So much going on. Of course the bookplates immediately went inside the books.

The cover of Leviathan made him want to keep that one. A Study in Charlotte sounds intriguing since it’s a take on a Sherlock book. Five Total Strangers sounds really good, too.

He wasn’t totally sure about Cut Off but ultimately decided to keep it. The blurb dared to use the word romance and, well, he’s a 13-year-old boy. Long Way Down is a graphic novel so of course that was an immediate yes. I read it. It is absolutely AMAZING.