Maggie Vaults Over the Moon

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Maggie’s Audiobook Campaign Begins!

Dear Friends,

Maggie’s Audiobook Campaign has begun!

Preparations for this unique crowdfunding event went off without a hitch. So many sponsors have stepped up to help Maggie’s voice be heard. Now it’s up to you, because most of all, we need your help to make Maggie Vaults Over the Moon on audiobook a reality.

Maggie author Grant Overstake, his wife Claire, and vaulter friend, Katie Howard, at Tailwind Pole Vault Club, Jamestown, Kansas.

Grant Overstake, his wife Claire, and vaulter friend, Katie Howard, at Tailwind Pole Vault Club, Jamestown, Kansas.

The story of a gutsy, grieving, farm girl who overcomes tragedy and soars to new heights as a pole-vaulter has become an instant classic in the pole-vault community. Participants, coaches, parents and followers of the sport have embraced Maggie’s story as their own. The sponsors who’ve stepped up to provide rewards and incentives to help encourage you to join the campaign, they all have been touched personally by the story and want the world to hear it. It will be good for the sport of pole-vaulting. It will be good for the world.

Tavia Gilbert  is a wonderful person and a great talent in the audiobook industry, with accolades that include six Audie Award nominations (the equivalent of the Academy Award for audiobook performance). She has her choice of which books she wants to perform, and Maggie touched her heart:

“I am very proud to be a part of Grant Overstake’s Maggie Vaults over the Moon project. Grant has written an inspiring story of how a young girl uses her passion for a sport to cope with grief and loss, and today he has launched a crowd-funding campaign to raise money for the audiobook edition, which I will narrate and produce. Maggie Vaults Over the Moon has captured the attention of young athletes, parents, coaches, media, and people who care deeply about meaningful, well-told stories for young people. I invite you to check out the fundraising campaign and to contribute to the effort to produce the story in audio. Inspiring stories have an impact, and I’m honored to be a partner in the effort to bring this heartfelt story to new audiences.” — TAVIA GILBERT

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Sports Book’s Heroine Soars Over Gender Bias on 40th Anniversary of Title IX

2012_NGWSD_theme_logoMaggie Steele, the heroine in the new sports novel, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon, faces many obstacles in her attempt to overcome tragedy and hardship on her tiny Kansas farm.

One of her biggest challenges is overcoming the gender bias of local townspeople, clergy, and school board members, 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.

The young adult novel by Grant Overstake, captures the struggle of a teenager overwhelmed by grief and uncertain about her future. Despite powerful opposition, she finds her destiny through the sport of pole-vaulting, a track and field event that was once considered too dangerous and therefore inappropriate for girls.

The story of Maggie Steele’s setbacks in the face of gender bias struck a chord with USA Today sports columnist Christine Brennan, regarded as the top female sportswriter in the nation and an important voice for gender equality in sports.

In addition to being an award-winning sports columnist for USA Today, an on-air commentator for ABC News, CNN, NPR, Fox Sports radio, and the author of seven books, including the national best-seller Inside Edge, Brennan has covered the last 14 Olympic Games, Winter and Summer, beginning with the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Her three books on figure skating include Inside Edge, which was named one of the top 100 sports books of all-time by Sports Illustrated. Brennan also broke the news of the pairs figure skating scandal at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.

Most importantly in this context, Brennan has written and spoken extensively on women’s sports issues. Her 2002 USA Today column on Augusta National Golf Club triggered the national debate on the club’s lack of female members.

Here’s what Brennan says about the potential impact of Maggie Vaults Over the Moon:

“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.”

Over the past decade, hundreds of girls have taken up the sport of pole-vaulting, finding within themselves the courage to overcome the highest obstacles. The National Federation of State High School Associations doesn’t have a specific number of high school girls’ pole vaulters in the United States, but Greg Hull, who works with the NFHS as a track and field/pole vaulting consultant, estimates the number at around 15,000. Continue reading