Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Natalia Maree Belting  

Pen Name: Natalia Belting, Natalia M. Belting

Genre: C:ADULT C:CHILD Non-Fiction & Fiction

Born: July 11, 1915 in Oskaloosa, Iowa


Illinois Connection

Belting lived in Urbana most of her life, living there until her death in 1997.

Biographical and Professional Information

Natalia Belting was a history professor, a writer, a lay minister, and an environmentalist. She drew upon her extensive knowledge of folklore in writing books for children. A professor of history at the University of Illinois for 43 years, she was particularly interested in the history of early French colonization of North America and the history of Native Americans in Illinois. This research formed the basis of her first children's book, ''Pierre of Kaskaskia'', as well as her third book, ''In Enemy Hands''. ''Indy and Mr. Lincoln'', and ''Verity Mullens and the Indian'' were also based on historical incidents. For the most part though, Belting adapted myths and folktales for young readers. Natalia wrote more than twenty works for children as well as the weekly column ''Illinois Past'' for the ''Champaign News-Gazette'' and other central Illinois newspapers.Belting received a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana in 1936, and went on to earn a master's degree and Ph.D. in American history (1940) from the same institution. She taught history at her alma mater from 1942 until her retirement in 1985. She became an associate professor in 1973, retired as a full professor and was a professor emerita from 1996 through 1997. Throughout her adult life, Belting was also active in community affairs. The Papers of Natalia Maree Belting are housed at [ University of Illinois Archives].

Published Works Expand for more information

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-- ''' ''The Sun Is a Golden Earring''''' *Caldecott Medal honor book, 1962 '''Other Awards