The White Ravens

A Selection of International Children's and Youth Literature

Presented by   Internationale Jugendbibliothek / International Youth Library

English / Romania

Becoming Eli

Ungureanu, Dan (text/illus.)
Timişoara: “Something to Say” Association, 2017. – [128] p.
ISBN 978-973-0-25533-1

Orphanage  | Schooling  | Trauma  | Graphic novel

White Ravens issue: 2018

Reading age: 12+


“We tell them everything! The beatings, the cold showers, the sedatives, the food … everything”. This is what Eli and a group of other orphans decide, as they escape their orphanage to tell the authorities in Bucharest of the daily horrors going on at the institution. Their plan fails, however, and becomes but another installment of the seemingly endless suffering of those who grow up as orphans. The powerful comic book is based on a real story and follows the life of Eli Moldovan, who with the help of a volunteer successfully escapes the cycle of fear and adversities. Dan Ungureanu gives a voice to a thousand fates, first and foremost the real Eli Moldovan. She is now an activist and a representative of the “Something to say” association, which supports the abolition of prison-like housing institutions in Romania in favour of alternative, protected housing options that enable orphans to grow up trauma-free.