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An 8-year-old boy sneaks a book he wrote into a library … and becomes famous

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Dolors Massot - published on 03/26/22

It was little Dillon Helbig's dream for his book to be in the library, so he decided to take matters into his own hands.

The librarians at Lake Hazel Branch library in the town of Boise, Idaho, recently discovered that someone had sneaked in a book among the volumes in the library.

It wasn’t just a few sheets; it was a full-fledged book (which they later formally categorized as a graphic novel)—written and illustrated in color by a child.

The library received a call from a family. It was Susan Helbig, the mother of Dillon, a boy who has been writing stories since he was 5 years old.

The Idaho Press spoke to librarian Paige Beach, who described the call. “She said her son had written an entire book and shelved it here at the library. Then he waited for just the right moment to announce to his family that he had written a book and it could be checked out at the library.”

It was Dillon’s dream that one of his books would be in the library some day, so the boy thought the best way to make his dream come true was to bring his book in personally. However, he was afraid a librarian might stop him. KTVB7’s Brian Holmes interviewed him about it at the library:

“I always be (sic) sneaky, like how I get chocolate,” he told us. “There was a lot of librarians that I had to sneak past so do you know what I did?” Dillion asked.

“What did you do?” Brian Holmes asked.

“I covered up this part and covered the back with my body and just snuck it in and then I started to walk, and then I came in this aisle, no wait this aisle, and then I put my book right here. Wait, right there,” Dillon said.

When Dillon returned later and couldn’t find his book, his mom called fearfully, hoping she could retrieve her son’s book and that it hadn’t already been thrown in the trash.

Indeed, the library was appreciative of the “found object.” Not only that: the branch manager, Alex Hartman, consulted the library staff, including the children’s book buyer, and after getting the parents’ permission, decided to add it to their lending catalog. They labeled and bar-coded it like any other book.

Hartman told KTVB7, “His parents were worried we would find his book and we would get rid of it, which was an unfounded fear …”  “Because if there’s ever a place a book would be safe, it would be here,” the reporter concluded, and the librarian laughed.

“Once we got our hands on the book, we took a look at it, and quickly determined that it was a good book,” Hartman told the Idaho Statesman. “A high-quality book that was very relevant to our community, it fit all of our collection development criteria.”

The book written by little Dillon.

The book is titled “The Adventures of Dillon’s Crismis, by Dillon His Self,” and it’s 81 pages long. He even made up a publishing company name and logo, which he put on the spine of the book. It’s about the boy and an exploding Christmas tree star, meeting Santa and visiting the North Pole, traveling to the first Thanksgiving in 1621, and getting eaten by a giant turkey, among other things.

Hartman tested the book by giving it to his son to read. The Idaho Statesman reports that the boy, Cruzen, thought it was one of the funniest books he’d ever read–high praise from the son of a librarian who has been exposed to many books.

Dillon’s book, with the Best Young Novelist award badge

The Ada Community Library where he left the book awarded him the “Whoodhini Award for Best Young Novelist” –and there are more than 50 people on the waiting list to borrow the book from the library!

Dillon says he’s already planning his second book, “The Jacket-Eating Closet,” which will be “based on actual events,” he told NBC News.

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