Welcome to Baer’s Books, the sanctuary of YA literature love! As an eighth-grade English teacher, my life revolves around the books that speak the hard truths of being a teenager. I started reading intense topics at a young age even by today’s standards, but that was before there was a genre aimed specifically towards young adults. Well-written and progressive novels focusing on teenage perspectives of real-life issues were few and far between, leaving my soul searching unsatiated. However, once the YA book movement started to really gain traction more than a decade later, I found my literary home. Even now in my 40’s, I continuously find myself drawn even deeper into the world of YA literature.

My vast knowledge of YA topics and trends, coupled with decades of experience working with teens, has given me strong expertise in the genre. I am a voracious reader, consuming 100 or more books a year, and pride myself on being able to find a book to fit every reader. I am constantly looking for the absolute best in YA literature by taking on leadership roles in professional organizations like the Illinois Reading Council and ALAN, a group of authors, publishers, teachers, and librarians working to promote the intellectual freedom of young adults through diverse and timely literature.

If you are a young adult in search of your perfect book, a teacher seeking new reads for your classroom, or anyone looking for engaging and sometimes challenging stories that can make you laugh, cry, or stand up for what’s right, this is the place for you. Come into the sanctuary and make yourself comfortable. Welcome home.

Much love,


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How to Make Friends with the Dark

Grace “Tiger” Tolliver and her mom June have always faced the world together, fighting to overcome adversity. They manage to survive on the money from June’s jobs at Bonita’s daycare, as the county Bookmobile lady, and by selling jams and jellies in the summer out of their Jellymobile. They are a “well-oiled, good-looking, and good-smelling … Continue reading How to Make Friends with the Dark


We have a guest post from my student Maddi P.! From Amazon: “No one gets something for nothing. We all should know better.” Teenagers at Wisconsin’s Nottawa High School are drawn deeper into a social networking site that promises to grant their every need . . . regardless of the consequences. Soon the site turns … Continue reading NEED

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