Barbara Gruener, a school counselor at one of the US’s premier National Schools of Character, has endorsed Maggie Vaults Over the Moon because of the novel’s positive, character-building message for young people.
Maggie’s review appears on Gruener’s The Corner on Character blog, which she created “to showcase people and experiences that corner the market on character and make the world a better place.”
In addition to brightening the blogosphere with uplifting messages, Gruener has helped make the world a better place by coaching students at Westwood Elementary School in Friendswood, Texas, to National School of Character status.
National Schools of Character are schools and districts that have demonstrated through a rigorous evaluation process that character development has had a positive impact on academics, student behavior, and school climate. They serve as models for other schools, helping them to achieve the same results.
A graduate of the University of Wisconsin in Madison with a Bachelor of Science degree in English and Spanish, Gruener also holds a Master of Science degree from the University of Houston Clear Lake; and a Master of Science degree in Counseling. After 16 years of teaching and counseling at the secondary level, she found her passion as a counselor and character coach to elementary students.
As Gruener read the dramatic journey of the story’s heroine, Maggie Steele, she was drawn to her own hard-working childhood on a Wisconsin dairy farm, and the special relationship she enjoyed with her own grandmother.
But beyond the fact that she identified so deeply with the story, Gruner was impressed with the book’s positive, character-building message for grades 4 through adult readers.
An excerpt of her Maggie review reads:
“Events that come crashing our way very early in the book will undoubtedly engage any reader, and endear him or her to Maggie, a likable teen with an indomitable spirit, and to her family as they courageously face their feelings and move forward. What might have stopped someone else dead in their tracks instead vaults Maggie to new heights as she processes her grief and loss and makes peace with her new normal… I enthusiastically recommend it.”
In addition to her own blog, Gruener’s articles have been published in Teaching Tolerance magazine, Teaching preK-8 magazine, Change magazine, Daughters magazine, and the MO Counseling Interviewer. She also has written monthly blogs for the Josephson Institute of Ethic’s Character Educator and mostly recently for Really Good Stuff and The Teachers’ Lounge. And, she has been invited to guest blog at Inside The School, Books That Heal Kids, Cachey Mama’s Classroom, Teach Forever, and I Can Teach My Child.