An eight-year-old boy’s handwritten book has become hot property at an Idaho library with a years-long waiting list after he snuck it onto a shelf.
Dillon Helbig visited the Lake Hazel branch of the Ada Community Library in the city of Boise in the US state of Idaho with his grandmother and thought it was the perfect opportunity to share his work ‘The Adventures of Dillon Helbig’s Crismis’ by ‘Dillon His Self’ with other members.
The 81-page red notebook, illustrated with coloured pencils, was placed on a shelf in the children’s section without being spotted by workers or the boy’s grandmother, who called it a “naughty-ish” move.
Ada Community Library included images of the book on social media with the message: “Just added to the collection at the Lake Hazel Branch: The Adventures of Dillon’s Crismis, by local author Dillon His Self.
“Imagine our surprise yesterday when Dillon’s mom called to tell us that her son had authored an entire book, shelved it at the Lake Hazel Branch, then announced to his family later that he had written a book and it could be checked out at the library.
“Dillon’s book is an impressive 88 pages, complete with full-color illustrations and even a library spine label, which came in handy when we located it for his mom to come ‘check out’.
“It has already earned the 2021 Whoodini Award for Best Young Novelist and Dillon has graciously donated this first edition copy for us to officially catalog and add to our collection for checkout… once his mom returns it.”
The young lad’s story is about him decorating a Christmas tree before the star sends him to the first Thanksgiving and the North Pole, with the Grinch making a special appearance at the end.
Library manager Alex Hartman said the book “was far too obviously special an item for us to consider getting rid of it”, adding: “Dillon is a confident guy and a generous guy. He wanted to share the story. I don’t think it’s a self-promotion thing. He just genuinely wanted other people to be able to enjoy his story.”
The book was officially included in the graphic-novels section, something young Dillon calls “a dream come true”.
The boy told Good Morning America: “I wanted to put my book in the library center since I was 5, and I always had a love for books and libraries. I’ve been going to libraries a lot since I was a baby.”
He was also honoured with the library’s first-ever Whoodini Award for Best Young Novelist, named after their owl mascot.
According to reports, the book currently has a waiting list of 55 people and members can keep it for up to four weeks. However, due to the demand, they cannot renew it.
Dillon said a sequel is currently being written along with another book called ‘The Jacket-Eating Closet’, adding: “Every time in kindergarten, I put my jacket in the closet and during recess, it would be gone. The jackets are still gone and that’s why I’m making the book.”