Pitch B- And Jakob Flew the Fiend Away

And Jakob Flew the Fiend Away
Upper YA Historical Fiction, Bildungsroman


Jakob DeJonghe can think of nothing but revenge when the Nazis coerce his father into suicide and his little sister mysteriously disappears the day before Yom Kippur.  As conditions in Amsterdam worsen, Jakob is determined to fight back and be the master of his own destiny, just as his heroes the Maccabees did in ancient times.

While en route from Westerbork, Jakob seizes an opportunity to jump from a death train, breaking his foot as he lands.  As he limps for his life towards a forest, he’s found by four young resistance fighters and taken to a safe house.  Even though Jakob has been left with a permanent limp, he’s still determined to defend his country and track down the men who killed his father.

His dream comes true when he joins his new friends’ resistance group, but after a chance meeting with a spirited young woman on one of his missions, he’s jolted by emotions he thought he’d buried.  And when he’s recruited into the Princess Irene Brigade and made a real soldier, Jakob realizes his battle is only half-won.  If he ever wants to survive a world that will never be ordinary again, love and not hate will have to carry him through.  And if he finds his dream girl again, this painful readjustment just might be easier.

First 150 words:

Jakob DeJonghe looked away from a German soldier as he and his mother Luisa headed home from the Waterlooplein market.  Tomorrow, at Yom Kippur services, he planned to pray for these fiends to leave his country.  Five months of occupation were about all he could take.  But in the meantime, he was looking forward to making chocolate cake when they got home.

“You’re the world’s best cook, Moeder.” Jakob shifted a heavy bag of groceries to his other arm. “I wish I were still as little as Emilia so I could lick the spoon.”

He and Luisa abruptly halted when they heard unfamiliar voices coming from their home and saw the back door open.  Then he heard his father Rudolf sobbing.  As he drew closer, he saw his father sitting on the floor as three Nazis stood above him.  Their hateful, steely little eyes were fixed only on Ruud, not on his wife and son.

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6 thoughts about "Pitch B- And Jakob Flew the Fiend Away"

  • Pat Esden says:

    The query is great.

    The first 150 are clear and well written. The pov does feel more like a narrator rather than being deep in the main character’s head, but I’m assuming you did that intentionally and the rest of the story has a similar feel.

    Good luck!

  • Indigo says:

    You have a very strong query with ample characterization and conflict. I do think your choice could be clearer at the end though. Be specific on how his choice to love rather than hate or vice versa will effect his relationship with the girl he loves and the world he chooses to live in.

    Your first 150 words are solid, as well. I’d maybe add some context to the soldier near the market, make him a threatening presence to add tension and ground the setting with emotion. And in the last paragraph, keep the action present. By that I mean, don’t tell what Jakob saw or heard. Show what is actually happening. His father sat slumped onto the floor as three Nazis loomed overhead with their rifles trained at his back… Or whatever. Telling what Jakob sees instead of showing first hand is like putting a filter between the reader and the story. Other than that, it’s all very good. Well done. You’ve got my vote!

  • Writerlicious says:

    This sounds absolutely beautiful . . . you’ve got my vote!

  • EllieWrites2 says:

    Your 150 is so much tighter!! Looking very good.

  • Juliana says:

    Oy vey girl! You know how much I love your writing and story ideas. I still believe you query to be solid! It’s just a matter of matching it with the right agent/publisher.

  • Terri K. Rowe says:

    I am deeply intrigued by your storyline and want to find out what happens next with Jakob! Extremely engaging.

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