Three Cheers for Maggie!
She’s vaulting into The Bookshelf bookstore in sports-crazy McPherson, Kansas!
And to celebrate, author Grant Overstake will sign copies of his sports novel, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon Friday July 12, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at The Bookshelf, at 206 N. Main Street, during the city’s Shop the Night Away celebration.
One lucky youth will win a free pole-vaulting adventure at the Tailwind Pole-Vault Camp to be held August 3-4, at the Tailwind Pole Vault Club in Jamestown, Kansas!
“Maggie is sooo excited about coming to McPherson for this event,” Overstake said. “The Bookshelf is one of the state’s premier bookstores. Linda Rounds has maintained a literary oasis there since 1980. I’m delighted to be invited to this event, and thrilled that Maggie will be going on sale in her store.”
McPherson, a Central Kansas community with approx. 13,000 citizens, is home to the McPherson College Bulldogs, which participates in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference, and the McPherson High School Bullpups, a perennial sports power at the high school level.
“McPherson is a sports-crazy town, and I mean that in the best possible way,” Overstake added. “Our daughter, Jillian, cheered for McPherson College a few years ago, so we know firsthand what a great sports town it is.”
Maggie Vaults Over the Moon features Maggie Steele, a gutsy farm girl from fictional Grain Valley, Kansas, who overcomes family tragedy and soars to new heights as a pole vaulter. The novel has been widely praised for its inspirational message, authentic sports scenes, and realistic depiction of life on a traditional family farm.
The Bookshelf’s owner says she’s eager to make room for Maggie. “So few Kansas authors write about our mid-western youth,” Rounds said. “Grant writes straight from the heart about a quest that so many of us Kansans have followed.”
Carol Swenson, retired McPherson College Sports Information Director and track and field historian, praised the book, writing, “Maggie Vaults Over the Moon is a quick, easy read that especially young adults with an interest in sports will enjoy. Overstake’s descriptions of Maggie’s vault competitions are right on. We’re looking forward to hearing our grandchildren’s reflections on the book.”
In addition, the Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA), says, “Maggie Vaults Over the Moon captures the true meaning of a high school athlete in Kansas and the opportunities activities can create for young people.” The book is on permanent display at KSHSAA headquarters in Topeka.
The book also is endorsed by U.S. Olympic pole-vaulters, and USA Today sports columnist and author Christine Brennan. Kirkus Reviews calls it, “A fine young adult novel about perseverance in sports and in life.”
Most meaningful to the author, however, are the positive reviews from readers with roots in rural Kansas. The former award-winning Kansas newspaper editor and Miami Herald sports writer is harvesting a wide swath of praise for his novel’s realistic view of farm life, from readers young and old.
“I’ve heard from many people from farms and small towns,” Overstake said. “One of them is a young teen who lives on a farm near Beloit. She wrote to tell me that she loves the story so much that she keeps reading it over and over again.
“A man in his late seventies told me that the story took him back to the farm where he’d grown up. The setting touched him so deeply and seemed so real that he cried when he finished reading it, because he didn’t want the story to end.”
During Shop the Night Away, stores will remain open until 10 p.m. in downtown McPherson. The event includes family theme-based activities and numerous food options. There will be a drawing for a $500 shopping spree, a free movie at the McPherson Opera House and entertainment for the whole family.