Maggie Vaults Over the Moon

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Maggie Soars Past 10,000 Visitors! Grandma says, ‘Let’s Have Pie!’

Maggie welcomed her 10,000th visitor on Sunday. Grandma said, “Let’s have pie!”

GRAIN VALLEY, Kan. — Grandma just knew that the 10,000th visitor to Maggie’s blog would appear sometime Sunday evening, so she baked one of her blue-ribbon rhubarb pies, and then she shoo-shooed Maggie and Troy away from the dinner table without dessert, until company arrived.

“The visitor counter climbed steadily from 9,950 to 9,999,” Maggie said, recalling the moment. “But then, it just froze there, not moving! It was at 9,999 forever!”

Maggie Vaults Over the MoonWith the 10,000th visitor due any second, the big question was, From where on earth would the 10,000th visitor arrive? 

Just as the clock struck seven on Sunday, July 21st, 2013, the answer came — the visitor was from, wait for it… Columbia, Missouri!

“Well isn’t that wonderful?” Grandma said, smiling sweetly. “Let’s have pie!”

Maggie and Troy and everybody else here in Grain Valley had a good laugh. It’s a knee-slapper because Kansans and Missourians have been big rivals since, like forever. Especially in sports. But not in pole-vaulting, because everybody knows that everyone who pole-vaults wants the highest and best for each other, no matter where they come from. It’s in the code.

10000_Worldwide“It was awesome to see that 10 followed by so many zeroes,” Maggie said. “It’s amazing to think how far we’ve come since, well, you know.”

Maggie Vaults Over the Moon tells the story of Maggie Steele, a gutsy Kansas farm girl who overcomes tragedy and soars to new heights as a pole-vaulter. The novel has been endorsed by US Olympic vaulters, coaches, and teachers who identify with its inspiring message for young people, and, most importantly, by young people themselves.

Since the novel was published in October 2012, Maggie has inspired readers all over the world. Continue reading


‘Maggie’ Celebrates Texas River Vault Champions!


Texas River Vault Championship winners from left, Kendall Shaw, Lauren Garcia, and Britton Chapman.

SAN MARCOS, TEXAS — Maggie Steele cheered herself hoarse Saturday, June 15th, at one of the biggest pole-vault festivals in the nation, the Texas River Vault Championship!

“It was one of the greatest things that ever happened to her,” said author Grant Overstake. “The whole experience was simply awesome.”

They say everything’s bigger in Texas and this event was no exception.  TexasRiverStreetVaultlogoThe USA Track and Field Sanctioned Event featured four vault runways! There were exactly 300 participants, and 301 if you count one fictional vaulter from Grain Valley, Kan.

A copy of Overstake’s inspirational sports novel, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon was presented to champions in each female division. In addition, a special “Maggie Award” was presented to Adolph Hoffman of Summersett, Texas, who jumped a new Age 90 World Record of 6-0 at the event! (See Full Results Here)

The invitation to Come on down! to the Texas River Championships came from Jon Johnson, President of the event and a coach of one the nation’s premier clubs, Lone Star Pole Vaulting. He says awarding copies of Maggie will inspire the female vaulters to continue on their own quests, over the moon.

View More Photos! Continue reading

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‘Maggie’ Soars at Region’s No. 1 Bookstore

The teen sports novel Maggie Vaults Over the Moon has become a consistent best-seller at Watermark Books and Cafe, the region's No. 1 bookseller.

‘Maggie’ is a best-seller at Watermark Books, the region’s No. 1 bookseller.

Boosted by enthusiastic reader recommendations and online sales, the popular teen novel Maggie Vaults Over the Moon continues to soar as a best-seller at Watermark Books & Cafe, the region’s No. 1 bookstore.

Author Grant Overstake reads from 'Maggie Vaults Over the Moon' at a book signing at Watermark Books on April 7, 2013.

Author Grant Overstake reads at Watermark Books on April 7, 2013.

Listed among works by writers such as Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner, And the Mountains Echoed), Maggie ranks 10th on the Watermark Books Best-Sellers list as of June 16, 2013. The novel has soared to as high as No. 3 in recent months.

“It’s been amazing and exciting to see how readers of all ages have responded to Maggie,” says author Grant Overstake. Continue reading

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‘Maggie’ Vaults to the Bookshelves of Kansas History


Maggie Vaults Over the Moon has found a place on the bookshelves of Kansas history.

The Kansas-based teen sports novel has been placed among the Kansas Reference books in the Wulfmeyer Special Collections (Lower Floor) of the Wichita Public Library. The special permanent collection consists of books about Kansas, or books by Kansas authors, including both fiction and non-fiction.

home_researchersThe collection features books on pioneers and cowboys, Kansas trail and railroad development, aviation history, agricultural history, and other subjects that shaped Kansas.

And, now, the collection includes the inspiring story of a gutsy farm girl from Grain Valley, Kansas, who overcomes great difficulties through the daring sport of pole-vaulting. Continue reading

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‘Maggie’ Gets 5 More Stars!

Your book was probably the most pure and wholesome young adult book I've ever read.

“It’s one of the most pure and wholesome young adult books I’ve ever read.” — Shannon Clark

Thanks to Shannon Clark of I Run Read Teach   for an Awesome Review:

You know that saying — “Don’t judge a book by its cover”? Well, it applies to this book. Most definitely! Grant Overstake, the author, contacted me about reading his book and reviewing it on my blog. I am so glad I did.

Coach, teacher and running enthusiast Shannon Clark is also a Girls Gone Sporty ambassador, an active group of women promoting health, life and fitness for girls of all ages.

English teacher and Coach Shannon Clark is also a Girls Gone Sporty Ambassador, promoting health, life and fitness for girls of all ages.

It’s a young adult book that’s appropriate for young adults as well as 4th and up. When do you ever find a young adult book like that? Some words that would best describe it would be- PURE, WHOLESOME, GENUINE -those can also describe Maggie, the main character.

Not an inappropriate word throughout the entire book. No inappropriate content either. I mean that’s a hard find in today’s world! It’s one of the most pure and wholesome young adult books I’ve ever read. Continue reading

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‘Maggie’ Inspires Olympian Erica Bartolina’s Vaulters to Soar Over the Moon!

Vaulters from Bartolina Athletics participated in the Pole Vault Summit in Reno, Nevada.

Vaulters from Bartolina Athletics participated in the Pole Vault Summit in Reno, Nevada.

NEW UPDATE ON THIS STORY FROM ERICA (10/16/14):I’ve had great success in the last year as well! Devin King broke the national indoor record, got 4th at world juniors, and cleared 18 ft twice as a high school kid. Two of my high school junior boys jumped over 16 ft, and Madison jumped 13’3″. And, I got married! What a fun year!”

UPDATE (6/27/13): Congrats to former Olympian Erica Bartolina for being selected to coach Team USA vaulters at the World Youth Championships in Ukraine! Erica is one of the sport’s most inspirational athletes and best coaches. Her own vaulter, Devin King, will lead the squad as the US World Youth Trials champion.

If you’re ever fortunate enough to travel waaay down to southeast Louisiana, deep into Cajun Country, you’ll find one of the most beautiful places on the entire planet to pole vault.


Olympian and Coach Erica Fraley [Bartolina] ‘connected’ with heroine Maggie Steele.

Nestled under mossy trees east of Baton Rouge lies the awesome training facility of Bartolina Athletics. Here boys and girls of all ages and abilities can be found on the runway, day and night, launching themselves to greater and greater heights.


Bartolina vaulters can be found on the runway, day and night.

The vaulters at Bartolina Athletics are taking the same flight path as their coach, Erica Fraley [Bartolina], who competed for the USA in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Her love and knowledge of the event motivates them to achieve their goals and learn positive life lessons along the way.

And, her athletes are also following the same trajectory as the fictional heroine Maggie Steele in Maggie Vaults Over the Moon.

The new teen sports novel by Grant Overstake has been widely endorsed by pole-vaulters for its realistic depiction of the world’s greatest sport; and by others who identify with the heroine’s courageous struggle. Kirkus Reviews calls Maggie Vaults Over the Moon, “A fine novel about perseverance in sports and in life.”


Bartolina’s Courtney Munkres loves ‘Maggie’

Along with sharing her own remarkable story, Coach Bartolina recently used the book’s heroine to help inspire her vaulters. Both Bartolina, in real life, and Steele, as a fictional character, overcame great adversity as they vaulted themselves over the moon. Continue reading

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NPR Asks: What’s the Future for Real-Life ‘Maggies’ on America’s Family Farms?

The new teen sports novel "Maggie Vaults Over the Moon" focuses on farm life and harvests in rural Kansas.

“Maggie Vaults Over the Moon” focuses on farm issues in rural Kansas.

What’s the future for the thousands of real-life Maggie Steeles living on family farms? The answer has dramatic implications for the future of rural America.

NationalPublicRadioThe future of family farms is the topic of a recent article posted at written by Jessica Stoller-Conrad, titled, “Future Farms Of America Might Not Include Much Family.”

The article quotes a professor of agricultural economics who says the tradition of passing farms from one generation to the next, for the sake of tradition, has run its course. He disputes the belief that farm parents owe it to their children to reserve a place for them in the farm business. Because, he says, “The other side of that coin is that then your children owe it to you to stay home, even if they don’t want to.” Continue reading

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Kansas Librarian Foresees a ‘Maggie’ Movie!

Pass the popcorn!

A rural Kansas librarian and book reviewer predicts that Maggie Vaults Over the Moon is destined to become a movie.

“Forget Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” writes Stef Arbuckle, “I foresee the film industry picking up this book for a screenplay.”

Maggie Vaults Over the MoonAuthor Grant Overstake says, Why not?

This story about a brave and beautiful girl who overcomes hardship to find her dreams is the stuff movies are made of.

Arbuckle is the Public Library Director in Weir, Kansas, and reviewer for the Galena Sentinel-Times, the official newspaper of the City of Galena, City of Weir, USD #499, USD #404, and USD #247, in Cherokee County. The town of Weir  (Pop. 679) is about the same size as fictional Grain Valley in the new teen sports novel by Grant Overstake. Weir is even located in the Southeast corner of the state, where the story is set. Continue reading