Idaho second-grader Dillon Helbig is already a self-published author, believe it or not. The 8-year-old is already getting national attention for his work, too—or, rather, the manner in which he did it.
Helbig wrote an 81-page comic book called “The Adventures of Dillon Helbig’s Crismis,” which tells the story of Helbig decorating a Christmas tree when the star blasts him to the first Thanksgiving and the North Pole. Obviously, the Grinch makes an appearance in the action-packed adventure story, too.
He also illustrated the book himself with colored pencils. But what he did with the book is the real story here.
During a trip to the Ada Community Library in Boise with his grandma, Dillon slipped his red-covered original work onto a shelf in the children’s picture book section. His grandma tells The Washington Post she had “no idea” he did it.
The real kicker of this tale? Dillon’s book was officially added to the library’s graphic-novels section, allowing library patrons to check it out and everything. His book already has a 55-person waitlist!
“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 told Good Morning America. ”I’ve been going to libraries a lot since I was a baby.”
According to The Washington Post, he eventually confessed to his mom, Susan, about his library donation, and the two went back to the library to retrieve it. Alex Hartman, the library branch manager, says he and the 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, noting that the entire library staff got a kick out of it. “Dillon is a confident guy and a generous guy. He wanted to share the story. 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.”
Additionally, Dillon was awarded the library’s first-ever Whodini Award for Best Young Novelist, named after the library’s owl mascot. His mom tells the Post that her son is already inspiring his classmates to write stories.
“It’s pretty neat to see how he’s inspiring little minds,” she said.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering—yes, there’s already a sequel in the works.