Contact The Author

   Contact the Author   
  pj hartenaus

p.j. hartenaus lives in a small town in the Midwest. She presently teaches fourth and fifth grade at Abraham Lincoln School who love to hear her stories of the past. She enjoys reading historical fiction novels to her students and teaching them the power of writing.  Between teaching, and enjoying her adult children, p.j. still finds the time to explore the lush, rolling hills of this unglaciated area of Galena in the Northwest corner of Illinois. It was on one of those explorations, that she came upon a deserted one-room school house called Belden. That find led to numerous discoveries such as old journals and artifacts, personal stories from many of Belden's elderly students, and many anecdotal conversations with those who knew about the old school. 

The Belden Boy Series- the adventures of Peter McDugal  was born from that discovery...  and the rest is history!

Books Available At

Andersons Bookstore

26 South La Grange Rd

La Grange, IL 60525

Tel: 708.582.6353

 pj hartenaus 
  p.j. hartenaus

     Children’s book author and educator, P.J. HarteNaus, lives in the driftless area of Galena, surrounded by acres of woods, an area that is rich with history.  It is here that P.J. discovered and brought to life an 1859 one-room schoolhouse that inspired the award-winning, anti-bullying series Belden Boy. After thirty-five years of educating elementary children, P.J. retired to this setting, writing novels and picture books creating Whistleslick Press in the process, and the Belden Boy Writing Camp inside Belden School, for third grade thru high school students.  It is the setting for the book series.  


     It is within these limestone walls of the little school, that children gather every summer to write and illustrate their own story to be published. Under the guidance of P. J. and literacy teachers, each budding author learns the importance of story structure which is needed to write a story that reads well, while enjoying the camp.  Campers return year after year to reconnect with Belden School in the woods, its educators and new friends for that special Belden Boy experience. The new Belden Boy Mobile, a 1953 Chevy farm truck, is a delight to see at the camp and when it “drives” the anti-bullying message to children at schools and Midwest Farmer’s Markets! As P.J. says, “I just want to place my books in the hands and hearts of children!”   

     Whistleslick Press and P.J. are proud to announce the #beldenboygivesback program, dedicating a portion of proceeds to animal rescues and farm sanctuaries.

Books Also Available At A Store Near You!


Driftless Market, Platteville

Novel Bay Books

Shullsburg Kingsley Crossing


Big Bill's Sandwich Shop

Bookstore of Glen Ellyn

Bread & Vine, Galena

DeSoto Hotel

Eagle Ridge Country Store

Elizabeth's Grand Antique Mall

E. Town Cafe

Galena Gazette

Galena History Museum

Galena Paper and Book

Galena Popcorn Company

Haunted Galena Tour Company

Hello Galena


Midwest Medical "Whispering Willow Gift Shop"

Peddlers at Eagle Ridge Inn

Piggly Wiggly

Safe Haven Animal Rescue

Shenandoah Riding Center

Stacey's Corner Museum

Trolley Depot

Trolley Depot Coffee

The Morton Arboretum


Hy Vee Grocery


The Cottage Bookstore

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