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8-year-old boy from Idaho sneaks homemade comic book into library shelf; over 50 readers now in borrow waitlist

By NICK GARCIA Published Feb 01, 2022 6:55 pm

There's no delaying an eight-year-old boy in Idaho from achieving his dreams of becoming an author, as he literally puts on the shelf his homemade comic book, which, much to his parent's surprise, now has a borrow waitlist of over 50 readers.

Dillon Helbig just got his big break as early as second grade, with his debut title The Adventures of Dillon Helbig’s Crismis. It's signed “by Dillon His Self.”

The book, an 81-page red notebook with colored pencil illustrations, talks about the holiday season in the eyes of Dillon.

The cover of Dillon Helbig's book, The Adventures of Dillon Helbig’s Crismis, signed by "Dilion His Self." Photo from the Helbig family.

One chapter, as reported by KTVB, a news station in Boise, showed him decorating a tree when the star on top explodes. In another chapter, he gets sucked into a portal and goes back in time to the very first Thanksgiving.

"Everything about it was a bit crazy," KTVB quoted Dillon as saying.

Dillon finished the book weeks before Christmas, and decided to share it with other people. But how?

Since he said he's "always be sneaky," as in getting chocolate, Dillon went to his local library, went past through the librarians, and sandwiched his book into one section right under their noses.

"I didn't know that was his ultimate plan," Dillon's mom Susan Helbig said.

Dillon and his parents, Susan and Alex Helbig. Photos from the Helbig family.

Days after Dillon pulled off his cloak-and-dagger operation, his book disappeared whence he placed it. Ms. Helbig, then, called the library, worried that a staff may have disposed of it.

Fortunately, the branch manager Alex Hartman told them that it's in the stories section, even expressing his amusement over the "sneaky act."

"(Dillon's book) was far too obviously special an item for us to consider getting rid of it," Hartman was quoted by The Washington Post as saying. He also told the publication that he read the book to his six-year-old son, who giggled and described it was one of the funniest books ever.

With that, Hartman said they asked Dillon's permission to officially include his book in their collection, complete with library stickers and all.

"Dillon's book definitely fit all the criteria that we would look for to include a book in our collection," he said, noting that it's already in the graphic novels section for kids, teens, and adults. "Now it's in the system, anybody with a library card can check out the book."

The library also gave Dillon a Whoodini Award for Best Young Novelist, a category they created for him, named after their owl mascot.

Word about the new hit that is Dillon's book spread out fast and since then, residents have been adding themselves to the borrow list.

But with over 50 eager readers wanting to check it out, it may take months to even years for other library patrons to get their hands on the book, as they're allowed to hold on to books for up to four weeks.

Hartman said he's in talks with Dillon’s mom about possibly creating an e-book version of The Adventures of Dillon Helbig’s Crismis.

Local children's writer Cristianne Lane, meanwhile, heard the news and offered to mentor Dillon in a writing workshop, Hartman said.

As Dillon's fans are patiently waiting for "Crismis," he told them a good news: He's working on a sequel already.

Dillon said he's also writing another book about a closet that eats up jackets.