Part 2 of the Young Author Competiton Winner’s stories below:

For most, the Tucson Festival of Books is an opportunity to rub elbows with some of the literary elite. Or at the very least, stare at them from afar working up the courage to have your tattered copy of a beloved novel signed. While we wait patiently for pages to be graced with an authors John Hancock, we rejoice in celebration of the art of literature and the written word with fellow bibliophiles. We stuff Bookmans’ totes with festival author novels and new non-fic finds. We emerge ourselves in panels and discussions on the writing process. But aside from all of that sweet bookish goodness is an array of community engagement and celebrations or art, science and learning. No TFOB event embodies this more than the Young Author Competition. Sponsored by Altrusa International of Tucson in collaboration with Tucson Festival of Books, the Young Author Competition encourages young would be Pulitzer Prize winners to create. Whether it be through poetry, short story or essay, any child from pre-k to pre-college in invited to put pen to paper and try their hand at prose.

young author

Bookmans is once again involved in the Young Authors Competition and couldn’t be more thrilled to do so. In addition to offering prizes to winners in the form of some Bookmans gift certs we also invited a few to be featured here on Over the next few days we will be posting one entry each day leading up to Tucson Festival of Books.

Please enjoy today’s feature Why Black Widows Eat Their Husbands by 4th grader Thomas Benson.

Why Black Widows Eat Their Husbands

“Mrs. Black Widow grew tired of her husband because he always boasted.  He bragged about his looks.  He said: “Look at my long legs, my shiny black eyes and my slick exoskeleton.” He crowed about his strength.  “LOOK AT MY MUSCLES!”  He even claimed he taught their son, Little Black Widow how to make friends.

Little Black Widow had many friends but among them, he liked Grasshopper the most.  They played together every day.  On Mondays, the friends kicked a ball in the park.  On Tuesdays, they enjoyed tennis, and on Wednesdays, the kids played basketball.  But most of the time they played in each others’ homes. The houses were small and modest – with two bedrooms, a bathroom, a kitchen, a living room, and dining room.  The houses were quite similar, for they had been constructed at the same time.  However, the Black Widows’ front wall disappeared behind a thick coat of a dull brown paint.  Depressing shadows seeped from every crack and crevice.  The Grasshoppers’ home, in turn, overflowed with joy.  Perfumed flowers sprouted everywhere – a perfect spot for family events!

Eventually, the Grasshopper family invited the Black Widow family over for supper.  The two families sat down at a polish, long table.  Of course, Mr. Black Widow was the first one to talk.  He said: “Why, I raised such a good son!  I am truly the kindest, most caring parent alive!” But this wasn’t the end of it.  He went on boasting for hours!

After a while, Mrs. Black Widow grew embarrassed.  She steered her husband to an adjacent room to give him a talking to.  Yet, he just ignored her!  She became so infuriated by her husband that she grabbed him and gobbled him up.  All that we left of him was a green glob of brains with eyes lying here and there.

As the Black Widow scuttled away, she heard the gooey glob mutter behind her, “I’m still prettier than you.

And that is why black widows  eat their husbands.”

Like we mentioned in Part 1, the closer TFOB gets the more of this series you’ll have to enjoy!