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My Life as a Potato
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My Life as a Potato

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  426 ratings  ·  168 reviews
Ben Hardy believes he's cursed by potatoes. And now he's moved to Idaho, where the school's mascot is Steve the Spud! Yeah, this cannot be good.

After accidentally causing the mascot to sprain an ankle, Ben is sentenced to Spud duty for the final basketball games of the year. But if the other kids know he's the Spud, his plans for popularity are likely to be a big dud! Ben
Published March 24th 2020 by Random House Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  426 ratings  ·  168 reviews

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L A i N E Y ~back in a bit~
Oh the obscurity of this gem hurts my heart.

I feel this is what kids and adults alike should be reading. I love how wholesome and unjudgmental it is. The whole book and its main character Ben are so earnest. Potato is, as we know, also a solid little vegetable and also earnest!

Reading My Life as a Potato, I just couldn’t stop smiling! I’m so happy for Ben for conquering his lifelong potato curse! He so deserved it after everything he went through and how hard he worked. But my oh my, poor Hunt
C.G. Drews
Mar 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This whole book was just a potato-filled delight. I had so much fun reading this! It was adorkable and heartwarming, and had tons of awkward 12-year-old style embarrassing moments. You get to cringe and cheer with Ben as he accidentally gets roped into being the school mascot for 3 weeks. Which also looks like a giant potato. (Also SMELLS bad.) Ben is trying to remake himself at his new school, be less awkward and quiet, so he doesn't want to be known as this mascot potato who everyone laughs at ...more
Arianne Costner
Oct 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Edit: THANK YOU to all who have read! It has been fun to see Ben's story being enjoyed by so many.

If you have a minute to spare, I would love if you could also drop a review over on Amazon:

Stay Spudtacular

Hey everyone! Author here. Thanks for being on this page. This book is so close to my heart. I had way too much fun writing it (I basically spent the months I drafted it cackling maniacally to myself 😆) I hope you enjoy MY LIFE AS A POTATO. I hope i
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is my sister's book! I am eleven. It was a very good book. I like potatoes. It was funny. ...more
Sophie's Reading Corner
Mar 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
"I'm not the salami king. I'm the dork behind the potato mask."

Ben has recently moved to Idaho because of his father's new job and he wants to get rid of his previous school image of the quiet, dorky kid. So he does something that makes him popular to his schoolmates, but that also grants him a punishment from school. He has to be the school mascot for the next few basketball games and that's a problem for Ben because he will lose his cool image and also the school mascot is a spud
Melissa (thereaderandthechef)
*Huge thanks to Random House & MTMC Tours for the review copy. All thoughts are my own. This review can also be found on The Reader and the Chef!*

I ADORED My Life as a Potato! It’s funny and full of potato content as our main spud hero, tries to lead a normal potato-free life (he HATES potatoes and is most probably cursed by them) while navigating a new school that just so happens to have a potato as its school mascot. And now, after an unlucky hot-dog tossing game, he is now tasked to become hi
Olivia Wildenstein
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing

This was one of the funniest and cutest middle grade books I’ve read. Right on par with The Wimpy Kid.

I laughed and grinned and held my breath during Ben’s adventures as a spud.

I read this out loud to my kids (ages 7 and 10) at bedtime. Suffice to say, this wasn’t a good idea, because they were always requesting, “one more chapter, Mom.” They both LOVED it and took away such different things from the same story.

Arianne, I’m going to be buying this book for all the kids I know, and I
Stephanie Fitzgerald
Sep 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes a hilarious, light read!
An absolutely hilarious book about the trials and tribulations of being a middle-school mascot!
The author was spot-on with her descriptions of pre-teen drama. I am sure that middle-schoolers (and older readers) would get a huge kick out of reading about a mascot struggling to keep his identity a secret!
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My Life as a Potato is a hilariously a-peeling story! (Couldn’t resist a potato pun!) You will laugh out loud reading this story about a Ben, a middle schooler, who thinks potatoes have jinxed his life. After a hot-dog tossing incident in the school cafeteria, Ben’s punishment is to sub as the basketball team mascot, a Spud! In order to save face with his new friends, Ben keeps his “double life” as a Potato a secret from them. But when his tater stunts aren’t well received at the games, Ben’s mi ...more
Sarah Allen
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Okay, I adored this book so much! This book comes out on March 21st and is the PERFECT read for fans of Diary of Whimpy Kid who are ready to level up. The story is about Ben Hardy, an LA kid who was recently transplanted to Idaho and through various shenanigans finds himself secretly sentenced to several weeks as the school mascot, Steve the Spud. Ben is my favorite kind of protagonist--the kind who doesn’t wallow, and who looks at the bad and hard things coming his way and jumps in with both fe ...more
Shannon Doleski
Jun 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Is there a potato dish that's sweet, because this book is it! Kids are going to love this fast-paced, super-relatable middle-grade! It's got adorable illustrations, a narrator debating between being cool and authentic, and it's perfect for older middle school reluctant readers! Read it! ...more
Ms. Yingling
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Ben Hardy's family has moved from California to Idaho, and he's having a bit of a hard time adjusting. Luckily, he has made two friends, Ellie and Hunter, so has secured a safe place in the cafeteria. He also has a crush on a cheerleader, Jayla, and she seems to like him as well. When he gets involved in a hot dog throwing incident in the cafeteria that ends up putting the school mascot (a giant potato!) out of commission, the coach gives him an option--act as the
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My Life as a Potato by Arianne Costner is about Ben Hardy, a seventh-grader who recently moved to Idaho. This is not exactly the best development in his life since he believes that he is cursed by potatoes--a big problem when he is surrounded by them. Even the school mascot, Steve the Spud, is a potato!

After Ben accidentally sprains the mascot's ankle, he is forced to fill in for the last few basketball games of the season. Ben must do anything to keep his friends and classmates in the dark abou
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I just finished this hilarious debut in two sittings! Based on the cover alone, I knew this would be a fun read. Ben moved from California to a small town in Idaho, and in typical fish-out-of-water fashion, he feels pretty homesick. He misses the ocean and skateboarding parks, and is pretty unsure about his new school's obsession with basketball and potatoes, especially since he's convinced that the potato is his nemesis. After a hot dog bouncing incident in the school cafeteria, he's forced to ...more
Jojobooks Higgins
Jul 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Put this in a 4-6th grader’s hands and they will devour it! I loved it.
Julie Christensen
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. This character was so sincere and funny. But I'm a grown up. So I'm going to let my two MG aged kids have their say.

Here is the first:
I think that this was a very funny book, with lots of good, suspenseful moments. One of my favorite types of books is one with lots of comedic moments, like this one. I have a lot of favorite types of books, but another one is books with lots of suspenseful moments like My Life as a Potato. This was an extremely hard book to put down and was o
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My Life As A Potato is a hilarious and accurate look at middle school kids, their attempts to fit in, the quest to avoid embarrassment above all else, their crushes, and the way they complicate their own lives with their choices without thinking things through.

More than anything, it's just plain fun, as you'd expect from a book about a kid who dresses as a potato.
What do you do when you are forced to become a mascot for your new school?

In Ben's case, he hides that he is the Spud, the mascot for the school he is attending in Idaho.

Like all stories where kids hid things from their friends and parents, you know the truth will come out. You know it is unsustainable. And you know that the longer they keep said secret the worse it could be in the end.

The author, in this case, nails it.

Writing middle-grade fiction is an art. To get the voice right is to capture
Kim Johnson
Mar 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What’s worse than being the new kid in school, but the new kid who is forced to wear the school mascot costume—a potato!!!

What an absolute fun MG to read. It had all the ups and downs of middle school with great friendships and an adorable main character. I loved the illustrations in the book, and such a ride to see how Ben was going to pull off hiding from the entire school that he was the mascot. Such a great read, MG lovers will love and I can’t wait to buy it in paper form for my 7th grader
Lizzie McClellan
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Obsessed with this book! My husband and I laughed through the whole thing. The character development is amazing, capturing the mindset of a typical middle school student - total throwback for me. As a 5th grade teacher, I'm familiar with middle grade books. This is a good one. Read it with your children, read it with your students, or even just read it by yourself! You will love it! ...more
I’m a simple woman, I see a good title and I read it.
This debut novel was a 3.5 for me. If you're looking for a middle grade novel filled with laugh-out-loud moments plus a great message about being true to yourself, look no further. After Ben Hardy's family relocates to South Fork, Idaho, for Los Angeles, he figures the move might offer him a chance to reinvent himself. He makes a couple of friends, but then, while showing off in the school cafeteria to impress some of the jocks, he lands in trouble. To avoid a suspension, Ben agrees to substitut ...more
Melissa (thereaderandthechef)
I ADORED My Life as a Potato! It’s funny and full of potato content as our main spud hero, tries to lead a normal potato-free life (he HATES potatoes and is most probably cursed by them) while navigating a new school that just so happens to have a potato as its school mascot. And now, after an unlucky hot-dog tossing game, he is now tasked to become his worst nightmare. *Cue the potatoes*

I had the time of my life reading about Ben and his antagonism towards potatoes! This reminds me of my sister
Aug 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer- my sons attended a high school that had a potato as a mascot- we were called the Spuds. As my son's district swim winner stood on the podium with a Mr. Potato Head among a Spartan and other more domineering mascots- I will admit was embarrassing. We moved here just as my oldest son started high school. We thought the mascot was ridiculous. However, this mascot grows on you and we don't see it looking like a poop turd anymore. With this background, this title caught my attention immed ...more
Naomi (3starsandup)
Mar 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2020
"Earlier in the halls before class, Jayla walked up to me and asked for my phone number. Five minutes later she texted me a smiley emoji and a peace sign. I can't believe things are getting to serious."

SYNOPSIS | Ben Hardy has just moved to a new school in Idaho where the school mascot is Steve the Spud. Ben throws a hotdog in the cafeteria which causes the mascot to sprain his ankle and the principle thinks it is a fitting punishment for Ben to take over the mascots responsibilities for the las
Oct 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
If you can't tell from the title and cover, MY LIFE AS A POTATO is a funny book. Not only is it hilarious, but it's also warm, upbeat, and entertaining. The characters are likable, the conflict is interesting, and the prose is lively. Kids are going to dig this one. In fact, I've been doing a lot of middle-grade reading for the Cybils Awards this month and this is the ONLY one my 11-year-old has expressed an interest in reading. It will be a crowd-pleaser for sure because it really is pretty SPU ...more
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
MY LIFE AS A POTATO is perfect for reluctant readers and any kid who has wanted to break out of the "role" middle school prescribed them. Over the course of the novel, Ben balances who he is and who he wants to be - all while secretly working as his school's basketball mascot. Costner builds a rich and dynamic cast, reflecting the challenges faced by middle schoolers across various social groups. POTATO is a refreshing and heartfelt read that's sure to put a smile on any readers' face. ...more
Blaine DeSantis
Thanks to Random House Readers and NetGalley for this advance copy in return for an honest review. There is a lot to like about this book, which centers on a middle school student who has recently moved from Los Angeles to Idaho. He tries to fit in but has few friends until a series of incidents make him become "Spud" the mascot of the school basketball team. It is about friendship and also daring to do things you never thought you could do. Unfortunately, for my, the book was a very slow read. ...more
Octothorpe Reader Leora K
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: promo-tour
Today I am excited to participate in the creative tour for #MyLifeAsAPotato by Arianne Costner hosted by MTMC Tours! This is a hilarious Middle Grade story about a boy forced to become the dorkiest school mascot ever! This book is perfect for anyone who has ever felt as a POTATO. 🥔 Out March 24, 2020!⁣

My thoughts on this insanely cute read and favorite things about the book is now up on my channel 📺 . You can also stand a chance to win a Hardcover copy - instructions in video 📺.
Jillian Anderson
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
All around great book!
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Arianne Costner is a past English teacher who lives in the middle of the desert with two toddlers bent on destroying her house. When she isn't writing, she can be found playing the piano and composing music. She was a Pitchwars mentee in 2017, and a Pitchwars mentor in 2018. Her debut, MY LIFE AS A POTATO, is being published by Random House in Spring 2020, with a second novel to follow in 2021. ...more

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