Second Grader's Handwritten Book Has Years-Long Waitlist After He Snuck It on Library Shelf

An 8-year-old's hope to share his original book with others has led to a 55-person waitlist at an Idaho library

The Adventures of Dillon Helbig’s Crismis
Photo: Alex Hartman/Ada Community Library

A book written by a second grader is a hot commodity at an Idaho library.

Dillon Helbig, 8, used a trip to the Ada Community Library's Lake Hazel Branch in Boise with his grandmother as the perfect chance to share his original work, The Adventures of Dillon Helbig's Crismis by "Dillon His Self," with readers.

While at the library in December, Helbig managed to slip his 81-page book, made with a red notebook and designed with colored pencils, onto a shelf in the children's picture-book section without being spotted. His grandmother had no idea Dillon made the "naughty-ish" move, as he described it to The Washington Post, .

His book tells the story of Helbig decorating a Christmas tree when the star blasts him to the first Thanksgiving and the North Pole. Infamous holiday antagonist the Grinch also makes an appearance at the end.

He told his mother, Susan Helbig, about leaving his book on the library shelf. But when they went to retrieve it two days later, it wasn't there. Susan contacted the library to see if his book had been discovered, and asked that it not be thrown away.

Alex Hartman, the branch manager, told the outlet that he and other library staffers found Dillon's book, and it "was far too obviously special an item for us to consider getting rid of it."

"It was a sneaky act," Hartman said, adding that the employees and even his 6-year-old son got a good laugh out of it.

"Dillon is a confident guy and a generous guy. He wanted to share the story," Hartman continued. "I don't think it's a self-promotion thing. He just genuinely wanted other people to be able to enjoy his story. … He's been a lifelong library user, so he knows how books are shared."

Dillon's book was officially added to the library's graphic-novels section, allowing library cardholders to check out the special item and enjoy it for themselves.

He told Good Morning America that it's a dream come true. "I wanted to put my book in the library center since I was 5, and I always had a love for books and libraries," Dillon said. "I've been going to libraries a lot since I was a baby."

He was also awarded the library's first-ever Whodini Award for Best Young Novelist, named after the library's owl mascot, per The Washington Post.

Now, locals have signed up to check out the book, which had a waitlist of 55 people as of Saturday. Readers can keep the book for up to four weeks, but due to the high demand, cannot renew it.

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Dillon has revealed that a sequel is already in the works. His follow-up will describe him getting back at the Grinch, and his dog Rusty will also be featured.

The second grader is also working on another book, The Jacket Eating Closet. He explained on Good Morning America how it's inspired by true events.

"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," he said.

Dillon is also influencing his classmates, who say they also aspire to write stories. "It's pretty neat to see how he's inspiring little minds," Susan told The Washington Post.

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