AN ITALIANIts a pretty tall order to ask a six-year-old to suddenly take on responsibility for his own life. Every decision he makes will have an influence on his future, and the questions facing Vanya are really tough: does he want to life a comfortable life as an adopted child of a loving family in Italy? After all, for an abandoned Russian child like Vanya it really doesnt sound like a bad option. Or would he rather take on the powers-that-be in Russian society?
The latter path would involve a battle against Russias feeble adoption laws in a godforsaken part of the country where, for children without parents, adoption offers the only chance for survival. Moreover, theres plenty of money to be had in selling orphans into adoption abroad. For Vanya to succeed, he would have to get his own way in a cruel world where adults are not about to let a perverse six-year-old prevent them from earning a quick buck. He would also have to defend himself against the avarice of corrupt militias. But, above all, his refusal to allow himself to be adopted by an Italian family would be a decision against his mothers wishes, who abandoned him in a Russian maternity ward.
The world of children is a universe with its own laws; a realm in which sometimes ones heart speaks louder than ones intellect. Vanya decides to set off in search of his mother. But he must first learn how to read so that he can understand the little information he has about her. Vanya embarks on his quest and encounters a mysterious and dangerous world.