Bibliophile | Queer teens tell the story in Aussie fantasy ‘Euphoria Kids’

Euphoria Kids
by Alison Evans
Echo Publishing

This is fantasy story of three gender queer teenagers who are drawn together at school. Melbourne writer Alison Evans says that she can’t get their 15 year-old self out of their head – “The one who was scared because they thought they were alone”. And they don’t want anyone else to feel like that.

The non-binary author mixes explorations of gender with the search for friendship in their multi-layered fable. With the Australian bush as its backdrop, the fantasy element introduces magic and alternate realms of possibility while the three adolescents try to find their own paths.

Iris has two mums and no friends except for faeries in their garden and the occasional dryad in the neighbouring National Forest. Babs has only her mum and her dog and seems to have been cursed so that she becomes invisible a lot of the time. There is also a new boy at school who hasn’t found his real name so they just call him ‘the boy’.

Art class is a safe place for the three friends, a place where they can be whoever they need to be. They are all challenged when the art teacher sets a task of making something that represents them … their selves, their souls, their stories. And it looks like they will have to turn to the world of magic for the world to open up to them in different ways.

Evans finds it damaging that “so much of the trans stories are written from a cis perspective” and the stories about trans characters often focus on conflict and trauma. They want people to know about gender euphoria in their third young adult fiction book. (Ida was published in 2017 and Highway Bodies in 2019)

“I want the young trans kids that will read this book to be proud of who they are, and imagine wonderful, magic lives for themselves.”

Lezly Herbert

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