When 8-year-old Dillon Helbig of Boise, Idaho finished writing and drawing his 81 page storybook called The Adventures of Dillon Helbig’s Crismis (by Dillon His Self), he knew exactly where to go to share it. A fan of the library, he slipped away from his grandmother while there and snuck his book onto the picture book shelves without anyone noticing.
When they returned home, Dillon confessed this to his mom, Susan Helbig. The next time they were at the library, they couldn’t find it, and Susan asked the librarians to please not throw it out if they found the notebook. Far from recycling it, library employees had discovered and enjoyed the story, one reading it to his 6-year-old, who declared it the funniest book ever.
The librarian asked the Helbigs if they would agree to formally adding the book to their library collection, including a barcode. They enthusiastically agreed, and the library made Dillon the first recipient of a Whoodini Award for Best Young Novelist, named after the library owl mascot.
After the story was on the local news, The Adventures of Dillon Helbig’s Crismis became a surprise hit at the library, gathering a 55 person waitlist. The Helbigs are considering creating an ebook version of the title, and a local children’s book author has offered to lead a writing workshop with Dillon at the library.
Dillon is working on a sequel, as well as another book about a closet that eats jackets.
You can read more about Dillon and his story, including some excerpts from Dillon Helbig’s Crismis, at the Washington Post.
Find more news and stories of interest from the book world in Breaking in Books.