The news these days is often depressing at worst and frustrating at best. It’s easy to let it get us down. Never fear… The News Blender has you covered. Once a week we feature Something Good and, in return, all you have to do is tell us something good that has happened to you this week, something you are thankful for, a joke, a cute animal story, an inspiring tale of heroics, a Random Act of Kindness… SOMETHING good.
Today’s something good is the audacity of youth.
Dillon Helbig is an aspiring author, along with being a busy and creative second grader. As Christmas approached, the eight-year-old wrote a book that he titled “The Adventures of Dillon Helbig’s Crismis” and lavishly illustrated it with colored pencils. On the front of the 81-page novel, which involved Dillon putting an exploding star on his Christmas tree and being thrown back in time to the first Thanksgiving, landing in the stomach of a giant turkey and eventually making a trip to the North Pole, he proudly claimed authorship by inscribing: “by Dillon His Self”.
So proud of his work was he and so convinced that it should be read far and wide, that Dillon devised a way to make that happen.
In mid-December, his grandmother took him on a trip to the local Boise library and he, unbeknownst to anyone, slipped his precious book onto a shelf in the children’s section so that others could enjoy reading it. It was, in Dillon’s phrasing “naughty-ish”.
He confessed to his mother what he had done but when they returned to get it, the book was gone. Susan Helbig called the library and asked them to please not throw it away if they found it.
The library manager, Alex Hartman, and the other library staff had indeed found the book and found it entertaining. Hartman even read it to his 6-year-old who pronounced it one of the funniest books ever.
Not only did they not throw the book away, they decided Dillon’s book met the standard for being (legitimately) put on the library’s shelf. When Alex called the Helbigs and asked permission to formally add “The Adventures of Dillon Helbig’s Crismis” to the library’s collection, bar code and all, Susan happily said yes. And it was added to the children’s graphic novel section of the library.
“I don’t think it’s a self-promotion thing. He just genuinely wanted other people to be able to enjoy his story,” Hartman told the Washington Post. “He’s been a lifelong library user, so he knows how books are shared.” He continued, “Dillon is a confident guy and a generous guy. He wanted to share the story,”
There is now waiting list of 65 people and a request from Texas to get the novel on interlibrary loan. That request was denied but the library and the Helbigs are talking about making it into an ebook.
The library also created a special awards category, named after the library’s mascot and in honor of Dillon’s bold move, the Whoudini Award for Best Young Novelist, and gave it to Dillon.
Now a local children’s author is planning on leading a writing workshop at the library with Dillon, hoping his enthusiasm will spark creativity in other kids.
The kids at school want to read his book and some of them want to write their own stories. Susan says, “It’s pretty neat to see how he’s inspiring little minds.”
Dillon is busy writing a sequel to his book, involving his dog Rusty and a visit from the Grinch, as well as a story about a closet that eats jackets, which is based on actual events, he says.
His mother thinks Dillon might be a writer when he grows up, but Hartman sees being a librarian in Dillon’s future. Whatever path Dillon chooses, fortune favors the bold and boldness is something he has plenty of. Chilren, books, fabulous stories, libraries, and imagination are all good things!
Now it’s your turn… Tell me something good!