Book Cover


1940s & '50s

Vance F. Lavalle

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Submision Type



The things that we do to one another are often shocking and, the things we do in war are beyond understanding. This is a well-balanced view of the human condition at the end of WWII in the Warsaw Ghetto. The main character, Canev, plagues the German troops like a mosquito in the bush.


Historical Fiction

Short Summary

Canev, a young Polish Jew lived on a farm until the war destroyed everything he knew, sending his father and him to the burned out Warsaw ghetto and an ominous future. There, although it threatens lives, he brings his skills from the farm to use and creates an itch that the Germans can't scratch.


Warsaw, Poland

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise

Rebellion Against 'The One',Overcoming Monster/Villain

Plot - Other Elements

Meaningful Message,Philosophical Questions,Coming of Age,Twist

Mature Audience Themes

Extreme Violence,Sexual Abuse

Main Character Details

Name: Canev

Age: 15

Gender: Male

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Desperate,Heroic,Naive,Skillful,Strong Moral Code,Underdog,Leader

Additional Character Details

Name: Videl Shari

Age: 32

Gender: Male

Role: Mentor

Key Traits: Badass,Masculine,Complex,Heroic,Leader,Strong Moral Code,Unapologetic,Skillful,Selfless

Additional Character Details

Name: Josef Hoffle

Age: 40

Gender: Male

Role: protagonist

Key Traits: Complex,Desperate,Decisive

Additional Character Details

Name: The Altester

Age: 50-60

Gender: Male

Role: emotional

Key Traits: Crazy,Desperate,Naive,Secretive,Religious,Obedient

About The Author

This Alberta born author's first book was delayed by decades as life got in the way. He married his long, disenchanted wife of 43 years, raised five children who now believe anybody can write a book, and built a small but pathetically successful business restoring antique automobiles. A lover of history, politics and dark humour, he is the mortal enemy of political correctness and faux outrage. His future works will undoubtedly disappoint fans of fine literature, but he hopes they will at least entertain. By the grace of God and the skills of wonderful strangers, Vance is a cancer survivor.

Target Audiences

Age: 13-17,18-34,35-54,55+

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: with a Publisher

Publisher: Grey Goose Press Inc.

Year Published: 2020

Hard Copy Available







Canev is brought from his family farm to hide out in Warsaw with his father. They seek family in the ghetto but Canev is soon on his own taking care of his neighbor and her half-blind mother. Canev, as a young Jew, has to fight to survive to be kept out of the camps. He feels guilty using his cunningness but soon learns that fighting for himself helps others survive in the grand scheme of things.

Overall Rating


Point of View


Narrative Elements

Authors Writing Style: GOOD

Characterization: FAIR

Commerciality: GOOD

Franchise Potential: FAIR

Pace: FAIR

Premise: FAIR

Structure: GOOD


Accuracy of Book Profile

The book profile's short summary, character details, and development pitch are pretty spot on when it comes to reflecting the narrative. The logline is repeated in the development pitch and feels a bit to vague to give a clear understanding of what the protagonist's goal and inner conflict of the story is. In explaining Canev's need to survive in the Warsaw ghetto during WWII and how it conflicts with his inner morals to not be selfish, the logline may better summarize the plot of the story rather than express a theme and abstract idea.

Draw of Story

Canev and Sophia are a unique lesser explored part of the Jewish experience during WWII outside of the concentration camps, who were too young to fight but old enough to resist and needed to help others survive. They bear adult responsibilities on their shoulders in an unwinnable scenario without the proper tools.

Possible Drawbacks

While the side characters are somewhat dimensional, their transformation is unclear therefore most appear static. Most people's goal is to survive, but not all of the nuances that they struggle with internally as shown as differentiated.

Use of Special Effects


Primary Hook of Story

The hook is that Canev loses his family and most of the adults in his life. Therefore at 15 he must become part of the resistance in order to protect the remaining community. Sometimes he is brave enough but he remains quite young.

Fanbase Potential

This could have a large fanbase based on the fresh perspective of staying in Warsaw during WWII as Jew and the unique age of the protagonist to have such responsibilities and capabilities in the city.

Awards Potential

This could potentially have awards potential given its unique themes, emotional range of the characters due to war and that war dramas and holocaust dramas often gain attention when well-produced.

Envisioned Budget


Similar Films/TV Series


What’s New About the Story

The originality stems from the Polish Jewish perspective of those who didn't fight in the war nor did they get sent to concentration camps. Showing more perspectives such as Sophies and her mothers may help create even further uniqueness as it is still largely a story about men in the war and the women characters aren't as developed.

Lead Characters

Canev is loyal, cunning and guilt-ridden. Sophie is practical, hopeful and constant. Vincent is wily and adaptable.

Uniqueness of Story

This has a rare perspective with a lot of gems in terms of themes, but could benefit from slightly more character development and quicker pacing as well as some variation in the common goal motivations.

Possible Formats

Film: Streaming, Indie, Studio

Analyst Recommendation



While the story has many positive points, it has room for improvement (see possible paths below). If you can't change the story at this point, my suggestion is using your notes as a guide to highlight the best aspects of it when taking the next steps, either putting a pitch page together, a treatment, or a presentation.

Tips for Improvement

Adding variations to the motivations to survive and reflections on surviving guilt in the ghetto with the side character could help them feel more dynamic. Clarifying Canev's goal and inner conflict sooner will also help the beginning feel quicker as well as more proactive rather than reactive to the onslaught of war tragedies.