A perfect read for track season, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon has become an instant classic that has inspired many young athletes to soar.
Heroine Maggie Steele is a gritty farm girl who finds herself on a quest to soar waaay higher than her critics think a girl should dare to go. A flight of magical realism with breathtaking descriptions of a totally awesome sport, the novel is a rewarding read for mid-grade to adults.
The story begins on a Kansas wheat farm and climaxes at the Kansas StateChampionships, which, with more than 3,000 competitors and 20,000 spectators, is one of the largest track meets in the nation.
Legendary track coach Dennis Bolt has coached at Hillsboro (KS) High School for over 25 years. And during that time, hundreds of his athletes have qualified for the state track meet, including some 40+ state champions! Bolt’s boys’ and girls’ teams have won several class 3A team titles. In recognition, Bolt was honored as the National Federation Boys Coach of the Year in 2004. Here’s what he has to say about, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon:
“As a teacher and coach, I’m continually amazed by the resilience of our young people and how much ability they have, despite their challenges. They are our future, and they need someone in their lives to cheer them on, and to help them discover their inner voice that says, “Yes, I can!” as opportunities arise…
“A great story by a great author, Overstake’s experience with pole-vaulting brings passion to his storytelling. He brings to life the trials and tribulations that lead to Maggie’s triumph, and his descriptions of the historic Kansas State High School Track and Field championships is spot-on. Highly recommended!”
Another legendary track coach, Centralia High’s Kimbrook Tennal, reviewed Maggie Vaults Over the Moon for his local newspaper:
“Maggie made me laugh and it made me cry and it took me back down onto the track at Cessna Stadium where I had one of the most exciting memorable moments in all of my coaching career... When I had finished reading the book, which I did all in one sitting partly because I didn’t want to put the book down, I thought to myself, ‘I wish I had written this book.’ …I tell my athletes to set goals that give you goose bumps. Maggie gave me goose bumps! The most privileged and talented athletes don’t always win the gold. Sometimes the gold goes to those with the biggest dreams.”
A young guru in the world of pole vaulting, Shawn Francis says Maggie Vaults Over the Moon might be the sport’s best novel.
“To be 100% honest,” Francis confessed, “I don’t usually like fiction books, but this book has so much truth in it, not just from pole-vault, I burned through it in one sitting!”
Famed Olympic pole-vaulter and coach of champions, Erica (Bartolina) Fraley ‘connected’ with heroine Maggie Steele so much that she presents the novel as motivational reading to her young vaulters. Among her many great athletes are Southeastern Louisiana pole vaulter Devin King who soared an astonishing 19 feet, 0.25 inches at the Texas Relays earlier this spring.
“The positive influence this book can have on young athletes is invaluable,” Bartolina says. “I am thrilled to have my athletes read it and be energized by the positive message: Stay driven and never give up!”
Through hard work and persistence, Erica was able to overcome a horrible childhood accident, losing sight in one eye. She overcame her injury to accomplish her dreams. She sees same traits in Maggie, the gutsy heroine from Grain Valley, Kan. “The same determination Maggie shows in the book is what helped me achieve in vaulting all throughout my career,” she says. “My mother had a quote on the refrigerator while I was growing up: ‘Shoot for the Moon, if you miss it, you are still among the Stars!’ and I lived by this.”
Maggie also faces many obstacles and hardships on her tiny Kansas farm. One of her biggest challenges is overcoming the gender bias of some powerful local townspeople who seem to be living in a time warp some 40 years in the past — before Title IX guaranteed girls the right to have equal access to sports. Despite powerful opposition, she finds her destiny through a track and field event that was once considered too dangerous for girls!
That theme struck a resounding chord with USA Today sports columnist Christine Brennan, a best-selling author who has covered the past 18 Olympic Games. Brennan is regarded as the top female sportswriter in the nation and an important voice for gender equality in sports.
“This inspiring book comes along at a perfect time, on the 40th anniversary of Title IX and in the same year as women athletes dominated the 2012 London Olympics,” Brennan says. “Girls who play sports and the coaches and families who support them will thoroughly enjoy Grant Overstake’s warm, uplifting story. After reading it, we’ll all wish we were pole vaulters like Maggie.”
Maggie has been endorsed by Olympic athletes, school counselors, and the Kansas State High School Activities Association for its positive message for young people.
Written for the young and young at heart, Maggie’s inspiring message is always in season, for every season of life. Maggie inspired one of America’s most inspirational senior writers, Nancy Julien Kopp, who has published numerous stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul books.
“I spent two evenings reading Maggie Vaults Over the Moon and this long-time adult enjoyed the story immensely,” writes Kopp. “Heartwarming and realistic, this book is a winner.”
According to author Grant Overstake, Most young athletes are introduced to the novel by their coaches, parents or grandparents. And, athletes who’ve since gone on to college have recommended the book to younger athletes following in their footsteps. Get Maggie in the hands of your aspiring young athletes today by ordering it on paperback, ebook or audiobook at Amazon.com
Maggie says, “Have a great season! I’ll See you over the moon!”