Dillion Helbig’s mother, Susan, says that her son has been writing comic-style books since he was five. It was around that time when he made it his goal to have one of his books on library shelves. Three years later, that dream came true—just not in the most traditional way.
Over Christmas break, Dillion wrote and illustrated an 81-page book. Titled “The Adventures of Dillion Helbig’s Crimis,” (which is written by “Dillion His Self”) the story tells the tale of Dillion being thrown back in time when a star on top of the Christmas tree explodes. Dillion finds himself in the “first Thanksgiving,” all the way back in 1621.
Rightfully proud of his story, Dillion hatched a plan. His grandmother took him to the Lake Hazel branch of the Ada Community library in Boise. While they wandered the aisles, he snuck pas the librarian and slipped his book on the shelf.
Author, Dillion Helbig. Credit: Susan Helbig.
The night after, Dillion proudly announced to his parents what he had done and let them know they could “check it out at the library.” His mother called, hoping the story hadn’t been trashed and that they would be able to pick it up from the lost and found. But that was far from the case.
“It deserves a spot on our library shelves,” Alex Hartman, the library branch manager, says. “It’s a good story.”
The librarians re-catalogued the book from fiction to the graphic novels section, given the story’s heavy illustrations, and much like the magic of that exploding star, Dillion’s story became one of the most sought-after titles at his library. As it stands, 56 people are on the waiting list. If each of them keeps the story for the max length of time, four weeks, then the last person would have to wait more than four years before they could get their hands on “The Adventures of Dillion Helbig’s Crimis.”
Credit: Susan Helbig
As news spread about Dillion’s hit story, many of his classmates approached him to let him know that he inspired them to tap into their own writing talents. An influx of children have come to Alex Hartman, asking how they can get their books in the library.
Local author, Cristianne Lane, wants to help them achieve that goal. Currently, she and Dillion are in the process of creating a children’s writing workshop at the library.
To honor Dillion’s great achievement, the library awarded him the first ever “Whoodini Award” for best young novelist, which they created for him. Though librarians are planning on making extra copies for local readers, those outside Boise may be able to get their hands on “Dillion Helbig’s Crimis” soon: publishers have contacted the library about officially publishing the book.
Though he’s currently riding the high of this success, Dillion is already planning a sequel. “My next book,’’ he says, “is going to be called ‘The Jacket-Eating Closet,’ based on actual events.”
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