Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Michael J. Bellito  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: December 25, 1949

-- Website --
-- Michael J. Bellito on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

I was born in Evanston, raised in Arlington Heights, attended the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, and have lived in Hoffman Estates and Wheeling, where I currently reside. I am presently teaching in Palatine.

Biographical and Professional Information

I graduated from Arlington High School in Arlington Heights, Illinois, in 1968. I completed my B.A. in English/Speech/Education at Cornell College, Mt. Vernon, Iowa, in 1972. I received an M.A. in Speech Communication from the University of Illinois in 1973. I enjoyed teaching Speech and English classes, including creative writing, for thirty-two years in Room 101 at John Hersey High School in Arlington Heights. I am currently teaching Speech Communication classes at Harper College in Palatine. I have been married to my wife Joani for thirty-three years. I have two married children (Matt, who wed Becki, and Joy, whose husband is Stephen). Matt and Becki recently blessed us with our first grandchildren, identical twin boys named Luke and Ryan. I had a short story titled "Waiting for a Pennant" published in North Shore magazine in 1989. My current novel ''Ten Again'' is a nostalgic look at the adventures of a ten-year-old boy set in the Chicago suburbs in 1960.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Ten Again
ISBN: 1606932500

Strategic Book Publishing & Rights Agency, LLC. 2008

“Hey, Mike, what’re we gonna do today?” It’s 1960, and Mike is ten again, at least in his mind. Looking back on his final year of elementary school, he reflects on the many challenges that confronted him then. Junior high and the opposite sex loom on the horizon―his mini-version of the New Frontier. From the neighborhood baseball field to the local movie theatre, from Halloween to Christmas morning, and from Bozo buckets to a once-in-a-lifetime trip across the country to Disneyland, Mike is constantly in motion―and often in trouble. But he has his younger brother Tommy and a few close friends to help him navigate the vast suburban wilderness. This snapshot of a bygone era shows the last generation allowed to be kids taking full advantage of it―and having the time of their lives.

First Time Around
ISBN: 1609766385

Strategic Book Publishing & Rights Agency, LLC. 2010

John Belson is lonely. This one word sums up his entire being as he enters the massive junior high school building on his first day of eighth grade. More than anything else, John wants a friend, a buddy with whom to share the joys and sorrows of life. And, like any normal boy his age, he also wants a girlfriend, an innocent beauty who looks like Haley Mills or Natalie Wood. But his desires are just wishes, and nothing short of a miracle can possibly change John's sad social standing. At least that's what he thinks. But real-life miracles do happen, even in the suburbs. Set to the backdrop of Chicago in 1963, when JFK is president and no one in America has yet heard of the Beatles, First Time Around is a story for anyone who has experienced the feelings of falling in love for the first time. About the Author: Michael J. Bellito taught English and Speech classes for thirty-two years at John Hersey High School in Arlington Heights, Illinois. His first novel, Ten Again, a story about a young boy growing up in the suburbs of Chicago in the early 1960s, was released in January 2009. He is currently teaching at Harper College, a local community college. Bellito lives with his wife, Joani, in Wheeling, Illinois, and is the proud grandfather of identical twin boys. Publisher's website:

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

I would love to speak anywhere in the Chicago area. I enjoy reading excerpts from ''Ten Again'' and answering questions from an audience.