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Boy’s Homemade Book Becomes Library Attraction

The hottest new book in the Lake Hazel branch of the Ada Community Library had a waiting list more than 50 people strong. But it wasn’t just word-of-mouth advertising that propelled the book into must-read territory. It was also its exclusivity. Unlike most mass-produced works on library shelves, The Adventures of Dillon Helbig’s Crismis is one-of-a-kind. And its author Dillon Helbig is eight-years-old.

Dillon made his authorial intent clear when, after writing and illustrating his 81-page creation by hand at home, he snuck it onto a library shelf during a recent visit with his grandmother. After returning home, he admitted the scheme to his mother, who immediately called the library to ask if anyone had seen it.

“It was a sneaky act,” said branch manager Alex Hartman. Dillon himself admitted this, calling his clandestine act “naughty-ish.” Nevertheless, Hartman was impressed, calling the book “far too obviously a special item for us to consider getting rid of it.” Hartman eventually read it to her six-year-old son, who loved it. She said:

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.

The other librarians agreed that it met the criteria for inclusion onto its stacks. So, Hartman got Dillon’s permission to add a barcode to the back of The Adventures of Dillon Helbig’s Crismis, and officially added it to the collection. They also gave Dillon a Best Young Novelist award, which they created specifically for him.

Dillon’s mom said, “His imagination is just constantly going, and he is a very creative little boy. He just comes up with these amazing stories and adventures, and we just kind of follow along.”

Possible Preaching Angle:

Just like these librarians encouraged Dillon, we should also encourage the young people we encounter. We can promote their gifts and talents and prepare them to keep on serving others.

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