Between the Lines May/June 2024: Diverse authors, comics, the outdoors, and more!

Welcome, to Between the Lines!

Welcome to Between the Lines! Bi-monthly, 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 within the two months 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!


May/June Reading Challenges


1. Read a book by an author who is of Asian descent, who is Indigenous or who identifies as LGBTQ+2S

We celebrate many diverse groups in Canada in May and June, with Asian Heritage Month in May and Indigenous History Month and Pride Month in June. There are so many ways to learn about these communities: 

  • Check out these resources to learn about the history, languages, cultures, and experiences of First Nations, Inuit and Métis across Canada.
  • Read about famous Asian-Canadians and their achievements and contributions in Canada for Asian Heritage Month, or explore big events in Asian-Canadian history!
  • Learn how to become a LGBTQ+2S ally in our MPL post, and be sure to check out what Pride events are taking place near you!

 You can support these groups by reading a story written by a member of one or more of these communities!

Reading List: Reads by Asian Canadian authors, opens a new window

Reading List: Reads by LGBTQ+2S authors, opens a new window

Reading List: Reads by Indigenous authors, opens a new window


2. Read a book with a fierce hero or heroine

The world has so many heroes that span the decades from Harriet Tubman to Amelia Earhart to Anne Frank. Heroes don't always wear capes; they can be anyone you admire. They can be a family member, a friend, a teacher, or someone who makes a difference in your life or others' lives. 

It is also fun to use our imagination and read a story about fictional superheroes. Some superheroes we have all come to know and love are Spider-man, Wonder Woman, Superman, and Captain Marvel, and there are so many more! Take some time to read a book about a hero or heroine. It could be a fictional superhero or a real person who inspires you!

Reading list: Read a Book with a Fierce Heroine or Hero, opens a new window


3. Read a comic or graphic novel

Oh zap! Guess what? May 4th is Free Comic Book Day. Find special events and comic book giveaways on the Free Comic Book Day website (sorry MPL isn’t a participating location). Ready for the challenge? Dive into some comics, old or new, to get ready for this epic day! Swing by your nearest MPL library branch and check out the Graphic Novels section. There, you’ll find books like Dogman, The Babysitter’s Club, and even Geronimo Stilton

Comics and graphic novels are enjoyable for readers of any age, plus comics help grow visual literacy and literacy skills. Here’s a bonus challenge: read a Star Wars comic. Why? Well, what does May the 4th sound like? Give it a think!

Reading list: Read a comic or graphic novel, opens a new window


4. Read a book with one of the four elements – earth, water, air, or fire (or sun) in the title.

Did you know that June is full of celebrations you can take part in? How cool is that?! In June, we have Great Outdoors Month, World Oceans Day on June 8 and the four elements, which are part of Indigenous teachings through the Medicine Wheel. Also, on June 24th, there's Inti Raymi, the Sun Festival. 

June is a great month to learn about the four elements: earth, fire, air, and water and ways to help the environment. Reading a book about any of these four elements can be a fun way to learn! Happy reading!

Reading List: Read a Book with one of the four elements in the title (earth, fire/sun, air or water), opens a new window


Beyond Books Challenges


1. Take a walk or ride a bike on a Markham trail

Time to tie up those shoelaces and pump up the bike tires! June is Great Outdoors Month so let's get moving! You can celebrate the great outdoors with the Markham Public Library:

  • Have you heard about the trail collection or story walks created through MPL's Trail Project?
  • Need a bike? Soon you can borrow one from the Bicycle Lending Library, opens a new window (a partnership between MPL and Markham Cycles), along with helmets, and knee pads!
  • Want to walk the trails? Track your steps by borrowing one of our pedometers and for an extra challenge try to beat your daily steps record!
  • Before hitting the trails, check out our Enviropacks. Each pack contains children’s books, activities, and tools based on nature themes. 

Reading List: Markham trails, opens a new window


2. Attend a Library Program

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Libraries offer more than books and other resources. Libraries across Ontario also offer tons of free programs for everyone! From chess to conversation circles, and storytime to book clubs, there's something for all ages to enjoy at Markham Public Library. With so many activities, you'll never get bored at MPL!

Discover a program that interests you at your local library. Plus, here's a fun fact: Markham Public Library is hosting the TD Summer Reading Club all summer long. Be sure to sign up in June on Check out all of our programs and events here.


3. Make a card or gift for an adult you look up to

Whether it's Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or saying thank you to a teacher at the end of the school year, there are many people in our lives who deserve appreciation. Is there someone special you want to show how much you care for them? Take some time this month to create a card or gift to show how much you care. Draw a picture, write a note or a short story -- let your creativity shine in celebrating those who care for you.

Reading List: Make a card or gift, opens a new window


Featured Markham Public Library Online Resource: BookFlix, opens a new window


Bring eBooks to life with BookFlix! With over 120 animated books, explore your favourite topics with interactive games, music, and adventure. Choose from various categories, from Animals and Nature to your ABCs and 123s. Plus, BookFlix pairs fiction and non-fiction books together so young readers can learn about the facts of a topic and enjoy a story too. 

Plus, you can:

  • Read along with the text as BookFlix reads to you! Learning to read is made easy with this feature, which assists pronunciation.
  • Play games and complete quizzes related to the text to enhance comprehension.
  • Dive deeper into topics with suggested websites. 

Are you an educator or parent/caregiver? BookFlix offers a Resources and Tools section, which provides great lesson plans, learning objectives, and even discussion questions. Also, check out the pre-planned activities you can do together, which help explore book themes.



Markham Public Library Programming

MPL’s variety of “Books and Reading” Programs, opens a new window

MPL's events for families and children, opens a new window

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.