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An eight-year-old boy hid his handwritten novel in a local library, find out how it became a hit


An eight-year-old boy from Boise, Idaho has a hit on his hands after secretly placing his handwritten novel on a shelf in the local library. Now, there's a waitlist to read it.

Dillon Helbig, who says he likes to tell stories, took just four days to write his time-travelling adventure featuring a giant turkey, explosions and a trip to the North Pole.

"I get sucked into a portal," Helbig told CTV National News of his storytelling.

Helbig knew he was on to something big with his novel, "The Adventures of Dillon Helbig's Crismis," but he didn't have a book deal or an agent to help get the story out to the public.

He wanted everyone to read it and decided to share it by secretly placing the 81-page illustrated novel, signed "by Dillon His Self," in his local library when no one was looking.

Helbig said he made his book so it would look like it belonged among other, professionally published ones in the library.

"I covered up this part and covered the back with my body and just snuck it in," Helbig explained, showing CTV News how he hid the book in his arms as he entered the library. "I started to walk and when I came in this aisle… I put my book right here."

Librarians at the Lake Hazel branch of the Ada Community Library later discovered Helbig's manuscript among their collection of approximately 50,000 books.

Library manager Alex Hartman decided to take the book to a tough literary critic -- his six-year-old son.

"He was just laughing hysterically," Hartman said in an interview with CTV National News. "After I read it to my own son it was more clear that Dillon had his finger on the pulse of what was appealing to kids."

With Helbig's permission, the library stickered and catalogued the book and placed it in its collection of graphic novels for adults, teens and kids.

"It's got elements of historical fiction and science fiction and fantasy," Hartman said. "Last I looked there were 87 people waiting for his book."

Helbig's parents say they couldn't be prouder of their son.

"He puts his mind to something and he makes it happen," said his mother, Susan Helbig.

Given the response to the book, the library awarded Helbig its first Whoodini Award for best young novelist -- a category created for him and named after the library's owl mascot.

The library is also in discussions with the family about creating a digital copy of the book.

Helbig is already working on his second novel, called "The Jacket Eating Closet," which he says is based on actual events from his Kindergarten days. Top Stories

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