Events and Programs

Events and Programs at Thornton Creek

The Mary Cooper Library promotes and manages a variety of literacy-related events and activities. Here is information about some of our most visible projects.

Author visits and other presentations

Each year, we host authors of children’s books who present great perspective to our kids on all manner of topics, not the least of which is reading! In the past several years we have hosted Gordon Korman, Mac Barnett, Tom Lichtenheld, Paul Owen Lewis, Matt Holm, N.D. Wilson, Kyle Bolton, Barney Saltzburg, Lauren Tarshis, Tracey Hecht among others, as well as Book It On Tour productions of The Phantom Tollbooth, Thank You, Mr. Falker, A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin, and Flora and Ulysses, El Deafo, Goin’ Someplace Special, Ada’s Violin, Whoosh: Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions, Inside Out and Back Again, New Shoes, and The Upside Down Boy.

Global Reading Challenge

Seattle Public Library sponsors the Global Reading Challenge with Seattle Public Schools. Thornton Creek first entered the Challenge in 2015-16. Fourth and fifth graders read up to ten books from a pre-selected list and work with a team to learn the books backwards and forwards. A quiz-game style event is held and semi-final winners go to the All-City Global Reading Challenge at the Central Library downtown. The Thornton Creek Book Thieves team WON the All City Global Reading Challenge 2016! In 2018, 56 of our 125 4th and 5th graders participated in this activity. In 2019, 91 students on 13 teams are participating!

Washington Children’s Choice Picture Book Award

During library time, our librarian uses many of the picture books selected for the annual Washington Children’s Choice Picture Book Award to teach reading and comprehension skills, and as jumping-off points for discussion and information technology skills. In April, students in K-3 vote on their favorite books, along with tens of thousands of kids around the state.


Launched statewide in 2017, the OTTER (Our Time To Enjoy Reading) Award aims to encourage kids reading “kids like to read rather than books adults THINK kids should read.” These middle grade shorter books are real crowd-pleasers. As students read them, they can give them a star rating and get stamps in their own OTTER “passport.” All students K-5 can participate, but the focus is on grades 1-3.

Soda Float books (Sasquatch Award and Young Readers Choice Award books)

Getting kids to read a variety of fiction in our upper grades is the goal of this program. The Sasquatch Award and the Young Readers Choice Award are student choice book awards sponsored by the Washington Library Media Association and the Pacific Northwest Library Association. The two lists are combined to a total of about 20. Students in fourth and fifth grade who read at least 12 of the 20 are invited to a soda float party (yep, that’s root beer or orange crush and ice cream! Alternatives available) after spring break.

Hour of Code

Computer programming or coding are important 21st century skills. In 2015, our school began participating in the Hour of Code event. During a week in December, all students in our school will have a chance to try out coding in a relatively structured environment as part of their library time. It’s a great way to introduce children to a skill that will be very useful to them as they grow and learn.

Book Fairs

Mark your calendars for the Fall Online Book Fair!
Dates: TBD
In partnership with the University Bookstore via

Ten percent of purchases will support the TC library to add diverse books to our collection. Books will ship directly to purchaser. This is a great way to support our school and community during the holiday season. Feel free to share the link with family and friends!