Maggie Vaults Over the Moon

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Help Young Athletes Dream Big this Season with ‘Maggie Vaults Over the Moon’

Maggie Vaults Over the Moon has inspired scores of young athletes to follow their dreams. Author Grant Overstake presented his novel to vaulters at the Wichita Catholic League Championships.

A perfect read for track season, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon has become an instant classic that has inspired many young athletes to soar.

Like the gritty heroine Maggie Steele, the goal for every prep track athlete is the State Championships such as this one in Kansas, which one of the largest track meets in the nation.

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 State High School Track and Field Championships, 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.

Coach Bolt recommends Maggie Vaults Over the Moon to help inspire his athletes to greatness:

“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…

National Coach of the Year Dennis Bolt recommends ‘Maggie’

“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.

Shawn Francis reviews Maggie Vaults Over the Moon on his Team Hoot vlog. “This is an amazing book for anyone. I burned through it in one sitting.”

“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.

Olympic vaulter and coach of champions, Erica (Bartolina) Fraley inspires her young athletes with copies of Maggie Vaults Over the Moon.

“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

Maggie says, “Have a great season! I’ll See you over the moon!”

Maggie is available at the Midwest’s premier independent bookstore, Watermark Books and Cafe in Wichita.

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Bookworks/Publisher’s Weekly Picks Maggie for Teen Readers

Maggie Vaults Over the Moon is a recommended back-to-school read for Teens.

BookWorks Publisher’s Weekly has placed Maggie Vaults Over the Moon on its back-to-school reading list! The novel was selected as a “Too Cool for School” book for Teens. In recommending the story, the editors said the novel is “An uplifting story of a young heroine who copes with loss and grief by literally hurling herself skyward as a competitive pole vaulter.” That’s too cool for school! Order your copy at major booksellers, or, even better, through Watermark Books & Cafe, Maggie’s favorite independent bookstore!


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Recommended Read for Back-to-School Teens!

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Maggie’s Tavia Gilbert Earns ‘Audie’ Audiobook Industry’s Highest Award

‘Maggie’ voice actress and producer Tavia Gilbert is a marquee talent in the audiobook world.

GRAIN VALLEY, KAN. — Folks in this iconic farming community are bursting with pride these days, because their favorite voice actress, Tavia Gilbert, has been named Best Female Narrator at this year’s Audie Awards, the highest honor in the audiobook industry!

The 22nd annual Audies Gala was held at New York City on June 1st. Awards were given in 27 categories including Audiobook of the Year. Gilbert, who brought Grain Valley to life in Maggie Vaults Over the Moon by Grant Overstake, is among the greatest performers in the world of audiobooks, as selected by the Audio Publishers Association.

She won the Audie for her performance of the novel, Be Frank With Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson. Other nominees in the category were Robin Miles, Juliet Stevenson, Bahni Turpin, and Emma Thompson.

“Tavia Gilbert is every author’s dream performer,” said Overstake, who added, “She makes Maggie and Grain Valley’s cast of characters come to life. She puts her heart and soul into everything she does, and everybody in the business knows it, and everyone who listens to her can feel it, too.”

Gilbert’s “Be Frank With Me” earned a Best Female Narrator Audie Award.

Tavia received a slew of positive reviews for the audiobook version of Maggie Vaults Over the Moon, released in 2015 by Blackstone Audio, the nation’s largest independent audiobook distributor. Gilbert and author Grant Overstake “make a great duo” according to reviewer Kira Moody, a librarian in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Three-time Audies Award judge Susan G. Baird anointed Gilbert’s performance with superlatives such as “beautiful,” “engaging,” and “splendid,” in AudioFile magazine, which included Maggie on its list of recommended new audiobooks. Read full review at AudioFile.


Gilbert’s reading of “Maggie” earned a rave review from AudioFile.

With advancements in smartphone technology, the audiobook industry is growing exponentially, as more and more people are downloading books to their phones and listening as they travel. For teen athlete Katie Wright and her mom, Jennifer, the 31-mile stretch of highway between Prospect, Kentucky and Katie’s pole-vault practices at Fuzion Athletics in Shelbyville went by waaay too soon as they listened to Tavia Gilbert perform Maggie Vaults Over the Moon.

Katie and Jennifer Wright enjoyed Maggie on audiobook.

“Since my daughter was very little one of my favorite parenting memories was reading to her. We still love to share books together but sometimes struggle to find the time,” mom said. “We discovered on the long drive to practice how great it is to listen to an audiobook together.

“Gilbert’s narration really drew us into the story and characters!” Jennifer adds in her review. “Often times coming home we would stay in the car a few more minutes just to continue listening to the story. While we loved the happy ending, we were sad that the story ended and we no longer shared part of our day with Maggie together.”

Maggie Vaults Over the Moon is the magical story of Maggie Steele, a gritty farm girl who rebounds after tragedy, reaching high achevement as a pole-vaulter. Kirkus Reviews calls it, “A fine young adult novel about perseverance in sports and in life.”

The audiobook can be downloaded from Audible and is available in audio, paperback and ebook at Amazon, Indiebound and many other sites.


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Star-Spangled Vaulters Soar at River Vault


Kaitlyn Ganrude navigates the barge runway at the River Vault. (By Daniel Scraith).

LA CROSSE, Wis. — Daring athletes in red, white and blue soared to new heights at the 7th Annual River Vault, held July 3-4.

A rubberized pole-vault runway and landing pad were mounted on a 125-foot by 50-foot barge moored to the river bank. The crowd went bonkers as nearly 80 athletes from Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, and Wisconsin soared above the river.


Matt Dietlin waves to the crowd at the River Vault, held on the Mississippi River.

“What an amazing weekend!” said event organizer Jeremiah Burish, Director of Sales at La Crosse Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We had incredible competition, high energy, and great costumes. The vaulters rang the bell 24 times to celebrate their personal bests!”


Smiling Sarah Ward rings the bell after a personal record vault.

Also cheering the competitors, in spirit, was Maggie Steele, the storybook heroine of the young adult novel, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon.  In what has become a River Vault tradition, copies of the inspiring novel were awarded to winners in each category.


Star-Spangled Anna Davis won the overall Best Dressed Vaulter Award.

“Maggie was delighted to be invited back to the only barge vault in the world,” said author Grant Overstake. “Kudos to Jeremiah and his crew for putting on another great show.” Continue reading

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Coach of the Year Recommends High-Flying ‘Maggie’


As track and field athletes prepare for regional and state championships, a national high school track coach of the year recommends the young adult novel, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon, to help inspire them on their personal quest for greatness.

National Coach of the Year Dennis Bolt recommends 'Maggie'

Coach Bolt recommends ‘Maggie’

Dennis Bolt has coached at Hillsboro (KS) High School for 25 years. And during that time, hundreds of his athletes have qualified for the state track meet, including 36 state champions! Bolt’s boys’ teams have won three class 3A team titles, and his girls’ teams have won two team titles.

In recognition, Bolt was honored as the National Federation Boys Coach of the Year in 2004.

Endorsement review from Coach Dennis Bolt:

“Whether a coach or athlete, you know that sport exemplifies the trials of life.

“Only through hard work and dedication can you receive an opportunity to achieve greatness when the opportunity arises. Maggie Vaults Over the Moon by Grant Overstake exemplifies how a young person finds strength and inspiration after experiencing a great personal loss. Continue reading