When Tales by Mail offered us a book box full of goodies for 8-12 year olds in return for an honest review, we leapt at the chance! Little M has just turned 8 and is always on the lookout for exciting reads (I’m a big fan of middle-grade books too). With a lockdown half term looming, it was the perfect opportunity to seek out new bookish adventures at home.
The Historical Heroes box arrived on the first Saturday of half term, ideal timing for exploring the contents and planning our activities for the week.
What is Tales by Mail exactly?
Tales by Mail is a bi-monthly middle grade book subscription box, which contains two newly-published middle grade books (so you’re unlikely to own these already), book plates, letters and other brilliant surprises. To add to the interactive element, they also include what they call ‘Chronicle pages’, which provide activities and challenges that are related to the books.
Although Tales by Mail is relatively new, it’s sister to the well-established Book Box Club (a YA subscription) and this prior experience in book box curation shines through when you receive the package. Everything has been presented and chosen with care. To top it all, there’s also a podcast which links in with the bi-monthly theme. Our theme hasn’t been broadcast yet (presumably giving us a chance to read the books), but we’ll definitely tune in when it’s live.
What’s in the Tales for Mail book box?
Where to start? We’re still finding amazing surprises in our package! Every themed book box offers something different, but this is what ours contained (skip this section if you don’t want spoilers).
- Darwin’s Dragons by Lindsay Gavin + signed bookplate
- Queen’s Fool by Ally Sherrick + signed bookplate
- Bookmark with each of the above covers on alternate sides
- Bookmark for Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B.Alston
- Cute Tales by Mail fabric membership badge
- A printed illustration from The Last Bear by Hannah Gold + a signed sticker
- Historical Heroes Chronicle pages (letters and readalong questions for each book, writing and drawing challenges)
- My Week journal pad
- Sweet little badge
Little M had a great time unboxing everything and is very happy with the book choices and the gifts. I especially love the author contributions as these really bring the books to life and add a unique touch that we won’t find anywhere else.
How much does it cost to subscribe to Tales by Mail?
You can pay £22 per month for a bi-monthly subscription which can be cancelled at any time. There’s also an opportunity to receive discounts if you sign up for 3 or 6 packs.
For sibings, you can buy a special package at a slightly increased cost, which contains the two books and has an extra set of activity pages and gifts.
Finally you can order past boxes if there are any still available (often sold out by the look of it) and an Adventuous Reading Pack to store your reading notes.
Postage costs an additional £3 for untracked delivery and £4.50 for tracked delivery. The company is based in the UK but ships internationally.
The Tales by Mail book box came just at the right time for us. Even as a book blogger and Bookstagrammer, it’s sometimes tricky to choose which middle grade releases to buy, especially because the market is dominated by a few big names. This middle grade book subscription box does the job for you. It introduces you to talented authors, making your kids’ (and your) bookish life a lot more interesting. Another bonus is that the contents can be dipped into over time making it handy for rainy days.
We were seriously impressed by the quality of the book box and would recommend it for any middle grade book fan regardless of age. It’s definitely something that we would order for ourselves in the future.
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