top of page
Glancer Magazine

LITERARY LOCAL | P.J. HarteNaus of Glen Ellyn/Galena

by Mindy Kyle


Meet long-time Glen Ellyn resident, educator and author P.J. HarteNaus, who four years ago retired from 35 years of teaching and moved to historic Galena, home of her award-winning and anti-bullying Belden Boy Series books.

“My last assignment for my Master’s Degree in Education asked us to create something educational for children,” says HarteNaus. “I was asked to help save a boarded up, 1859 one-room schoolhouse in Galena - Belden School.” This project and her bullying experiences from childhood and those of her students inspired her to write The Adventures of Peter McDugal, the first book in her unique series. The Belden Boy Series is a set of tales of the ups and downs of friendships back in the late 1800’s. Each of the books helps children understand all sides of bullying: the victim, the bully, and the bystander.

Along with selling her books on Amazon and online at , HarteNaus drives the Belden Boy Book Mobile, a 1953 green Chevy farm truck named Mary Jane to schools, farmers markets, book fairs and storefronts to market her books. “Full of bales of hay, flowers and buckets of my books, Mary Jane attracts everyone!” HarteNaus also holds the Belden Boy Writing Camp each summer in the real setting of the Belden School and invites children who are interested in becoming budding authors.


Trending Now Locally

Featured Partners

Shop, Dine and Support Local