McDonald International Community News

We want to make it easy to keep informed. Here are the options we currently have in place along with our update schedule for each.

  • This website  We'll update whenever we have information. Subscribe to our RSS feed to be notified instantly, or check back regularly.
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  • Email List  We send out a weekly email newsletter during the school year and as needed over the summer. This is one of the primary ways our school communicates with famililes, so if you haven't already, click here to sign up
  • SPS website McDonald also has an official school website hosted by Seattle Public Schools and updated by McDonald staff.

Have a submission? Events, news, resources to share? Email us.

Jan 15

School Tours for Prospective Students on January 31st

Dec 12

Movie Night Postponed until Friday, Feb. 8

Oct 30

Global Reading Challenge 2019—the Big Reveal! (And Ms. Pat needs your help!)

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In future newsletters, I will be giving parents more information on how we (the 4th and 5th grade teachers and I) approach this city-wide competition.  But I thought you’d like to have the titles now so you can reserve them at the public library.  The McDonald copies of the books will be delivered this week to our school.  Then the real challenge will be to catalog, stamp and cover 100 books in a timely manner.  Can you help?  I plan on working at McDonald on Saturday and Sunday afternoons on this project.  If you can help out, please email me  ( and we can coordinate some times.  I’d love to get the books into our childrens’ hands  by next Monday if possible but I cannot do it alone!

The 2019 List

(comments are by Seattle Public Librarian, Jenny Craig)

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones –Sophie Brown’s mom is a writer and her dad is between jobs, so they move from LA out into rural California to take over her Uncle Jim’s farm when he passes away. That’s when the unusual poultry starts to show up, and some suspicious local characters, too. The book is told letters, mostly to Sophie’s dearly departed Abuelita, and is pretty hilarious. Heavily illustrated. Local author.


The PS Brothers by Maribeth Boelts -- Shawn and Russell often don’t have enough to eat, with one thing and another, but they are resourceful friends and they desperately want a dog. They dream up a business idea when they find a guy willing to sell them a Rottweiler puppy, and the PS Brothers are born. When they realize that the rest of the puppies are destined for a dog fighting ring, they make some hard choices that ultimately lead to improvements in their lives.


Power Forward by Hena Khan – Zayd Saleem is a 4th grade violin player and aspiring basketball star. His Naano is always trying to feed him up, and his cousin is thinking about searching for a wife. Typical Pakistani-American kid, with typical kid adventures. Hena Khan is becoming a well-known children’s writer – one of her other books, Amina’s Voice, has been garnering a lot of attention as well. #ownvoices


The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney -- Sudanese refugee story. Amira is a bright spark of girl, who desperately wants to go to school. Her father is considering the question when her village is attacked, and Amira’s story takes a sudden, unexpected turn. Heavily illustrated, told in verse.

Pelé: The King of Soccer by Eddy Simon and Vincent Brascaglia – remarkably thorough graphic novel biography of Pelé. All about soccer/football, but also talks quite a bit about growing up in poverty in Brazil in the 1950s and Pelé’s life on the world stage.  Nonfiction Graphic Novel

The First Rule of Punk by Celia Perez -- Malú and her mother are moving from Florida to Chicago for 2 years. Not only does this mean leaving her punk-loving, record-store owning dad, but Malú just knows that her Mexican mother will pressure her about embracing her heritage. Malú’s about to learn that there’s more to punk than she suspected, and her heritage may have more to give her than she thought. Short chapters interspersed with exuberant

How I Became a Ghost: A Choctaw Trail of Tears Story by Tim Tingle – this book is an amazing feat of storytelling, in that it tells a devastating history without losing a sense of kid adventure, and also manages to capture a few truly funny moments. Mostly, I admire it for the way the Choctaw tribal members manage to hold on to who they are as a people, despite everything.  

Fish in a Tree by Linda Mullaly Hunt -- Ally Nickerson is having a difficult year. Finding new friends in a new school, grieving for her recently departed grandfather, missing her deployed dad, and trying to hide her inability to read from classmates and teachers alike. This is the year that she learns about dyslexia, and about how many other smart, talented people have found a way to embrace the different way she thinks. #ownvoices (X, 550L)

The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley – Ada’s mum doesn’t want her to ever show her disability to the world, and has raised her in shame and secrecy. This is World War II Britain, though, and her younger brother is about to joined the evacuees from London. Ada takes a chance and flees with him, despite her pain, and that starts a new chapter of her life. (Z, 580L)

Ghost by Jason Reynolds – this may end up being a controversial pick, because of confusion about what book it is. There is a book by Raina Telgemaier called Ghosts (nope, it’s not that one) and Jason Reynolds also has a Newbery Honor book that involves ghosts talking to a teen boy. That book is called Long Way Down, and has won at least 4 awards,but is not an elementary title. This book is also not Ghost Boys by Jewel Parker Rhodes. Hopefully we will be able to keep the kids from confusing it with How I Became a Ghost as well – turns out there are a lot of great books for all ages with ghost in the title or subject. This book, Ghost, is about 7th grader Castle Crenshaw (aka Ghost), using track to work through a traumatic event in his life. This book is about making mistakes and working through the consequences. It’s about finding community and connections when you didn’t think that was possible. There is no cursing in this book. There is some gun violence (no fatalities) in the first 5 pages of the book. If you would like more information, including covering the question about whether it is appropriate for or appeals to 4th or 5th graders, here is an article about that: 

Oct 17

Obon and Dia de los Muertos School-Wide Celebration on November 2nd

Oct 17

Parent Education Night on October 23rd: "Winning Children Over"

Oct 17

Movie Night this Friday, Oct. 19th

Oct 17

Reminder: Submit Your Volunteer Screening Application by Oct. 30

Jul 02

Jul 02

Show Your Scottie Pride in Wallingford Family Parade - July 14th

Jun 13

More Summer Reading Suggestions from Ms. Pat

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A few weeks ago in this space, I presented a list of chapter books nominated in the Young Readers Choice Award.  Below are lists of recently published books nominated in two categories:  information books and books for kids transitioning into chapter books.  Kristen Edstrom from the University Branch of Seattle Public Library will be coming to McDonald on June 19th and sharing her summer reading recommendations.  I hope to share her list with you after that presentation.

The Towner Award for information books is named after Bill Towner, longtime Seattle librarian (at Kimball Elementary) and mentor to dozens of librarians (including me!)

  • Beauty and the Beak: How Science, Technology, and a 3D-Printed Beak Rescued a Bald Eagle, by Deborah Lee Rose
  • Book of Bones:10 Record-Breaking Animals, by Gabrielle Balkan
  • Danza! Amalia Hernandez and El Ballet Folklorico de Mexico, by Duncan Tonatiuh
  • Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years, by Stacy McAnulty
  • The Hidden Life of a Toad, by Doug Wechsler
  • Not So Different: What You Really Want to Ask About Having a Disability, by Shane Burcaw
  • Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean's Most Fearless Scientist, by Jess Keating
  • This Book Isn't Safe, by Colin Furze
  • This Is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from Around the World, by Matt Lamothe
  • The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist, by Cynthia Levinson

The Otter Award (from the Washington Library Association website)

“We recognize that elementary children transition into chapter books at different ages and, as such, do not limit our reading or voting to a specific age or grade level.”

  • Catstronauts: mission moon by Drew Brockington (Little, Brown)
  • Dragons and Marshmallows (Zoey and Sassafras) by Asia Citro, illustrated by Marion Lindsay (The Innovation Press)
  • Game Over, Super Rabbit Boy! (Press Start!) by Thomas Flintham (Branches/Scholastic)
  • Jasmine Toguchi, Mochi Queen by Debbi Michiko Florence, illustrated by Elizabet Vukovic (FSG / Macmillian Kids)
  • March of the Mini-Beasts (The D.A.T.A. Set) by Ada Hopper, illustrated by Sam Ricks (Little Simon / Simon & Schuster)
  • Dolphin Rescue (Animal Planet Adventures) by Catherine Nichols , illustrated by James Burks (Liberty Street / Time Inc. Books)

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