Between the Lines Jan/Feb 2024: Resolutions, Black heritage, pink shirts, and more!

Welcome, to Between the Lines!

Welcome to Between the Lines! Each month you will discover new themes and adventures as you complete reading challenges and beyond the book activities for grades K to 8. Track your reading for each challenge using the Beanstack App. Complete all 4 reading challenges for the month and you’ll have the chance to win a prize! Each month you can also submit your reading log for the chance to recommend your favourite book to other library customers with our Between the Lines bookmark!

Post your Between the Lines reading and adventure challenges on social media with the hashtag #MPLBTL to help other library users join in the fun. 

Let the reading adventure start now!


January/February Reading Challenges


1. Read a book about an inspiring Black historical figure

Black stories should be celebrated and read at all times of the year, but if you’re looking for a place to start, Black History Month shines light on important people and events we can learn about! Read a book about an inspiring Black Canadian: Viola Desmond, Mary Ann Shadd Cary, Carrie Best, Josiah Henson, or William Hall or how about a non-Canadian: Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman or Nelson Mandela. There are many Black historical figures that aren’t listed here that can be read about too! Taking time to read about inspiring people and their stories can help you understand why they are important.

Reading List: Influential Black historical figures for kids, opens a new window


2. Read a book about emotions

Sometimes we experience strong feelings, and we wonder what it’s about and why we feel how we do. It can be hard to try to explain how you feel to others if you don’t really know what’s happening yourself! Emotions can sometimes feel overwhelming. Reading books about them can help bring some understanding to the world of emotions and help us build emotional awareness in ourselves and others. Emotional awareness helps us know what we need and want. It helps us build better relationships because being aware of our emotions can help us talk about feelings more clearly, avoid or resolve conflicts better, and move past difficult feelings more easily. Read a book about emotions and watch your emotional awareness grow!

Reading list: Books to help kids understand their emotions, opens a new window


3. Read a book with a dragon in it

I see something huge, green, and scaly blowing hot fire out of its mouth! What could it be? A dragon! Dragons appear in many fantasy books. We often hear of mean dragons keeping princesses trapped in towers, but guess what? There are also lots of books about nice dragons. Books, such as The Pet Dragon by Christoph Niemann and Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin, show how friendly dragons can be. It’s time to dive into the magical world of dragons and have some fun. Before you begin, did you know Chinese New Year is on February 10, and 2024 is all about the Year of the Dragon? So, as you enjoy your dragon stories, get ready to celebrate this special occasion!

Reading list: Children's books that feature dragons , opens a new window


4. Read a book about hibernation or a hibernating animal

Winter can get dark, gloomy, and chilly. When the snow falls and we start bundling up, many animals that were active in summer disappear. Ever wonder where they go? Some animals fly to warmer lands, while others gather food and stay cozy in their protected habitats. There are some animals, like bears, who don’t need food or water and can survive in their dens all winter! Want to know more about how animals survive the winter? Read a book about hibernation or animals that hibernate. You'll be surprised to discover how differently they deal with winter compared to us!

Reading List: Hibernation, opens a new window


Beyond Books Challenges


1. Make a goal for 2024

It is that time of year again where we say goodbye to 2023 and think about the exciting adventures we’ve experienced. Think about your favorite books from this past year. Do you want to read even more books this year? Any fun reads on your list for 2024? If you answered yes to any of these questions, now’s the perfect time to make a new goal for 2024. Setting goals adds more excitement to the new year and opens doors to new experiences. Why not jot down a list of goals for 2024? Include a reading goal and get ready for a year filled with happy reading adventures! Here’s to a book-filled 2024!

Reading List: New Years Resolution, opens a new window


2. Do a family reading activity


January and February feature so many reading events where you can spend time with your family and read with them. How cool is that?! Did you know that Family Literacy Day is January 27, Family Day is February 19, and Take your Child to the Library Day is February 4 and the whole month of February is Library Lover’s Month? Now’s the perfect time to do a reading activity with your family. One famous expression is so little books, so little time. This time you can say, so many books and a lot of time!

Reading List: Great family reads, opens a new window

Reading List: Winter activities for kids and families, opens a new window


3. Wear a pink shirt

Wear Pink on Pink-Shirt Day! February 28 is Anti-bullying Day where everyone bands together to show that they care and stand up to bullying. Fun fact: Pink Shirt Day started in Canada in 2007 in Nova Scotia where two students bought and distributed 50 pink shirts after their classmate was bullied for wearing a pink polo shirt on his first day of school. Pink Shirt Day is held on the last Wednesday in February. Bullying is never okay, and everyone deserves to be treated with kindness and respect–just like you! Treat people the way you’d like to be treated and wear some pink on this special day to show support!

Reading List: Anti-bullying day, opens a new window


Featured Markham Public Library Online Resource: NoveList K-8 Plus


This online database is great for helping you find what book to read next. For example:

  • Are you in the mood for a specific genre but you don’t know which book to choose? NoveList provides excellent recommendations on lots of different genres and different appeals (which means story elements, like character or storyline). 
  • Are you a fan of a certain author and you’ve read all of their books? Find similar authors by using your favourite author’s name in your search – on the right side of your search results page you’ll see a list of similar authors. You can also do the same with the title of a book you liked!
  • Looking for books by grade level or reading level? Look for the “Age level” on the left column of the main page or in the Advanced search try “Grade Level”, or other filters. 

This database has many tools to help you discover your next great read. Start exploring today!



Markham Public Library Programming

  The City of Markham Programming

Programming for all ages, opens a new window. All programming requires registration. The City of Markham has a new program registration system -- create an account today: City of Markham program registration site, opens a new window.