When publishers told Karen Avivi that her book Shredded about a girl BMX rider was too niche, she didn’t return to the drawing board. (She has a literal drawing board, a giant whiteboard on which she plotted out the book.) Sports had helped her find confidence as an adult, and she couldn’t let the stories of sporty girls remain untold. With the sense of determination gained from running triathlons, skydiving and rock climbing, she decided to take matters into her own hands and self-publish.
Earlier this year, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators announced that Shredded, released in 2013, had won the Spark Award, which “recognizes excellence in a children’s book published through a non-traditional publishing route.”