Baltimore Magazine: “Adam Schwartz’s New Book Captures the Resilience of Baltimore Youth. It’s their complex lives, challenges, and coming-of-age in Baltimore journeys that provide the inspiration for Schwartz’s tightly woven character studies in his debut collection.”
Baltimore Sun: “These 10 books with Baltimore ties will get you through the holidays and just possibly self-quarantine.”
WYPR On the Record with Sheilah Kast: “Adam Schwartz has observed hundreds of kids in 22 years teaching in Baltimore public schools. He’s watched them fall in love, make crazy decisions, grapple with moral dilemmas, worry about where they fit in life. Schwartz distilled some of what he’s seen into eight short stories for his new book The Rest of the World. We also discuss whether Schwartz, a white man, is the right one to tell the stories of Black and Brown teen-agers and young adults.”
Review by Marion Winik in the Baltimore Fishbowl: “In his award-winning collection, “The Rest of the World,” veteran high school teacher Adam Schwartz imagines the lives of teenagers in Baltimore’s broken neighborhoods. With action-packed, often heartbreaking plotlines, vivid settings, and screen-ready dialogue, eight stories make it clear how carefully Schwartz has observed and listened, how deeply he has felt, in his decades in and out of the classroom.”
Leslie Pietrzyk’s Work-in-Progress: I’m drawn to writing stories about teens and young adults coming of age. Our initial encounters with the hard realities of adult life transform us. How do we negotiate these experiences? Who do we become in their aftermath? And in what ways do we hold on to, or reach back for, the parts of ourselves that got left behind?
Baltimore Jewish Times: Baltimore’s struggling neighborhoods and the residents who live in them deserve a lot more credit than they’re commonly given. During the uprisings in 2015, out-of-town reporters flowed into Baltimore to cover the story. In many ways, these reporters got at least part of the story wrong. Over and over, reporters characterized this stretch of North Avenue and the Sandtown neighborhood in starkly depressing terms: “joyless” (Washington Post), “blighted” (New York Times) “bleak” (Slate) “a dead zone” (Rolling Stone). The teens in my classroom are not joyless, blighted or bleak. Often they are joyful, hopeful and very much alive. They love, laugh, learn and dream like kids anywhere. So there’s something vile and false in the media’s tendency to pathologize and criminalize Black neighborhoods and Black men in particular.
Washington Independent Review of Books: “Longtime educator’s new story collection captures the voices of Baltimore teens.”
Book Q&A’s with Deborah Kalb: I spent much of my adolescence adrift. When I get a kid in class who’s disengaged and bored, I think to myself, Ah, a kindred spirit. I was you once.
The Beacon: “What readers will find in his stories, along with the rough times and tough characters, is what the author-teacher said was the main lesson he has learned from his students: “A lot of the kids at my school don’t give in to despair. They continue to strive. That should inspire anybody — a writer or not. It’s a testament to the strength of these kids.”
The Source: Washington University in St. Louis: “The teens and young adults that populate the book are on a search for meaning and sometimes redemption while battling a city and society that has let them down.”
Maryland Literary Review: “I’m interested in what Baltimore draws out of young people. I’m interested in the ways Baltimore shapes teenagers’ views of themselves and their prospects. How do kids hold onto their ideals when things are unraveling around them? In what ways are they sustained by loved ones and community?
The Inner Loop: Author’s Corner: My school recently relocated to Harlem Park. The depth of poverty in many parts of West Baltimore is staggering. This is a place that has been starved of investment. Imagine a child’s shock when the city’s brutal contrasts reveal themselves and she realizes that, while her neighborhood struggles, other, whiter Baltimore neighborhoods thrive —beneficiaries of robust economic investment. In Canton and Federal Hill, the Inner Harbor and Port Covington, capital flows and prosperity spreads. I’m interested in how young people navigate both of these Baltimores.