BROOKSVILLE — Potatoes are generally considered food. But they can have other uses — as book characters, for example.
That's the challenge that was offered recently to West Hernando Middle School students, who enthusiastically produced such characters as Harry Potter, superheroes, bunnies and a pig.
The Literacy Week contest was coordinated by the school's library media specialist, Cecelia Solomon.
"I read about this on LM-Net, where about 14,000 media specialists worldwide share ideas," she said.
Solomon decided to try it and ended up with several media center tables lined with potato characters. During a big finale to Literacy Week, winning students, for this and other activities, were invited to the media center for prizes.
There was a tie for first place. Sixth-grader Grace McEnernery won for her pig holding a tray with a pancake, a character from If You Give a Pig a Pancake, and seventh-grader Courtney Thomas won for her two potato rabbits — different species, no less — from the nonfiction book The Field Guide to Rabbits.
The second-place ribbon was awarded to sixth-grader Thomas Annitto for his Captain America potato. Third place went to sixth-grader Makayla Bentzel, who created the furry hamster from The World According to Humphrey.
Honorable mention was awarded to sixth-grader Andrew Woods for his potato from Eragon, seventh-grader Billy Stevens for his potato Harry Potter, sixth-grader Kaitlyn Irizarry for her Cat in the Hat character, seventh-grader Venessa Smith for her Cinderella mouse, seventh-grader Zack Moenius for his simple, undressed potato depicting the main character in the book The Amazing Potato, and Katelyn Ysbrand for her I'm Taggarty Toad potato.
All of the students who dressed potatoes received participation ribbons.