8 year old writes book and hides it in library – now it’s a hit
There are publishers who are serious about publishing the book, and schoolmates have even started imitating it.
The boy hid the book on a shelf.
This Christmas, Dillon Helbig—an eight-year-old boy from Boise, Idaho, USA—decided to write a book. He took an empty notebook and spent four days creating and illustrating The Adventures of Dillon Helbig’s Crismis. It’s a story about how he himself is thrown back in time after a star explodes over his Christmas tree. And Dillon, like all writers, really wanted his story read.
At the end of the year, when his grandmother took him to the local library, Dillon put the only copy of his book – secretly – on the fiction bookshelf. Without saying anything to anyone. At least until he got home and told his mother, Susan Helbig, what he had done.
Susan called the library, thinking the book was lost and found. In fact, the librarians found the gesture – and the story itself – so amusing that they joined in the fun and cataloged the book and made it available for requisition. But they moved it to the graphic novel shelf because The Adventures of Dillon Helbig’s Crismis has a strong visual component.
“It deserves a place on our library shelves,” said manager Alex Hartman, quoted by the New York Times. “It’s a good story.” Although there are numerous spelling and grammatical errors, which is understandable for an eight-year-old author.
After the star explodes over the Christmas tree, the protagonist (who is also the author) embarks on a journey through time after landing in a portal tree. This portal takes him to the first Thanksgiving, which was in 1621 – his mother helped him determine the date.
The original book cover.
After the library housed your book, it became a phenomenon. The story was told in the local press, drawing inquisitive minds and persuading Dillon’s schoolmates to write their own books too.
By the end of January it had garnered so much attention that 56 people queued up at the library to request The Adventures of Dillon Helbig’s Crismis. If they all kept the book for four weeks—the maximum requirement period—the last person on the list would have to wait about four years.
According to The New York Times, several publishers contacted the library because they were interested in publishing the book. And librarians also have a plan to make more copies of the story. A local author, Cristianne Lane, also offered to host a workshop at the library with Dillon to help other children develop their stories.
Dillon Helbig began writing (and drawing) stories at home at the age of five. After all the attention he’s been getting over the past month, he says he wants to be a writer for a living. Although I already have other plans.
“I’ll stop writing when I’m 40,” he told the New York Times. And then? “I will make games.” But he already has an idea for the next book, the long-awaited The Jacket-Eating Closet, rumored to be based on real events.
Dillon Helbig is eight years old.