Maggie Vaults Over the Moon

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New Teen Sports Novel Captures Life On Kansas Family Farm

The new teen sports novel “Maggie Vaults Over the Moon” vividly depicts the challenges and joys of a girl living on a family farm in rural Kansas.

WICHITA, Kan. — A former rural newspaper editor and sports writer has drawn upon his coverage of sporting events and country life to create a new teen sports novel, which is harvesting praise for its realistic view of life on a Kansas family farm.

Author Grant Overstake says his years spent as a journalist embedded in Kansas wheat country helped him create a vivid setting for the story,  Maggie Vaults Over the Moon, in which a high school senior named Maggie Steele struggles with the same difficult decision faced by many of today’s rural teens — pursue the life of her dreams or stay home to save the multigenerational family farm.

 “As the only surviving child, Maggie has many factors to consider about a possible future on the farm,” Overstake said. “Of course, readers will have to read the story to follow her journey of self-discovery, and to see which path she chooses to take.”HighResFrontCover

As editor of the Hillsboro Star-Journal, Overstake was a two-time winner of the Kansas Farm Bureau’s Golden Wheat Award for excellence in agriculture writing. The author places his story near the fictional town of Grain Valley, Kan., which, in real life, could be anyplace where sports still matter and the grain elevator is the busiest place in town, especially at harvest time.

The new book, released in mid-October, has already earned several five-star reviews from readers on, including one that reads, “Getting to know Maggie Steele, her family, and the whole warm and caring community of Grain Valley was a pure delight…” Continue reading

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Doctoberfest Vaulters Win ‘Maggie Vaults Over the Moon’

Congratulations to the enthusiastic young pole-vaulters who scored copies of the new teen novel, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon, during the Doctoberfest street vault held at the Tailwind Pole Vault Club. The winner’s names were drawn from the large number of vaulters and fans who attended the annual event on Oct. 6 in Jamestown, Kan.

Pole-vaulter Tristan Burnham, of Courtland, Kan., with Author Grant Overstake, left, and Tailwind Coach Mark Breault.

Pole-Vaulter Caitlin Hawk, of Wichita,Kan., with three-time Olympian and former world-record holder Earl Bell, left, and Author Grant Overstake. Bell, who coached three vaulters onto the US London Olympic Team, is the “coaching voice” in “Maggie Vaults Over the Moon.”

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Three-time Olympian Earl Bell is ‘Coaching Voice’ in “Maggie Vaults Over the Moon.”

While visiting an Asian rainforest, former world-record holder and Olympic great Earl Bell tries a real bamboo vaulting pole, just like Maggie Steele’s. Photo by Mark Breault, Tailwind Pole Vaulting Club

The “coaching voice” in Maggie Vaults Over the Moon comes from the legendary Earl Bell, one of the greatest pole-vaulters and pole vault coaches in the world. Earl is a former world record–holding pole-vaulter, who won the bronze medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics. He is the current coach to a number of the nation’s top men and women vaulters. At his last Olympic appearance, the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, Earl finished fourth. He set the world pole-vaulting record of 5.67 meters (18‘ 7 1/4”) on May 29, 1976, at the USA Track & Field (USATF) National Track and Field Championships at Cessna Stadium in Wichita, Kansas. The author, working as a volunteer helper at the event, Continue reading

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U.S. Olympian Jeremy Scott Endorses “Maggie Vaults Over the Moon”

“Every single person should be able to relate to Maggie in Maggie Vaults Over the Moon. We have all experienced loss, heartache or tragedy, but not all find a way to overcome. It doesn’t matter if you are a pole vaulter, male or female; it’s about finding something in which you are passionate and not giving up. Maggie does just that—she finds her passion and it ends up taking her over the moon.” –Jeremy Scott, USA Olympic Trials Silver Medalist and Team USA Pole Vaulter at the 2012 London Olympic Games

About Jeremy Scott
Believed to be the tallest world class pole vaulter in history, Scott stands at 6 feet 9 inches tall. His breakthrough 2009 season got off to a great start with his win at the USA Indoor Championships in Boston, and he broke the 19-foot barrier for the first time in his career with his winning clearance June 14 in Jonesboro, Ark., when he cleared 5.82m/19-1.25. A letter-winner in three sports in high school (football, basketball and track) Scott enrolled at Allegheny College to play football. After a broken foot as a sophomore caused Scott to focus more on pole vaulting, he decided to enroll at one of National Track & Field Hall of Famer Earl Bell’s pole vault camps in the summer of 2001, and the improvement was immediate. Continue reading