Maggie Vaults Over the Moon (Paperback)

Maggie Vaults Over the Moon By Grant Overstake, Katerina Stefanidi (Foreword by), Melissa I. White (Contribution by) Cover Image
By Grant Overstake, Katerina Stefanidi (Foreword by), Melissa I. White (Contribution by)
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Recognized as one of the greatest track and field novels of all time by Citius Mag, the story of a gritty Kansas farm girl's quest to master the daring sport of pole-vaulting has stirred the hopes and dreams of readers around the world.

"A fine YA novel about perseverance in sports and in life." -- KIRKUS REVIEWS

This second edition of the beloved story by Grant Overstake includes a foreword by reigning Olympic Pole Vault Champion Katerina Stefanidi and chapter discussion questions created especially for young readers by Dr. Melissa I. White, a Language Arts (ELA) Teacher and Mental Performance Consultant with a Doctorate in Sport Psychology.

"Girls who play sports and the coaches and families who support them will thoroughly enjoy this warm, uplifting story." -- Christine Brennan, USA TODAY

When tragedy strikes the Steele Family Farm at harvest time, tearful Maggie finds herself grinding the gears of the giant grain truck, trying her best to replace her big brother, Alex, who died in a fiery car crash. If Maggie is going to escape her worst nightmare (being stuck on the farm forever), she'll need to ignore small-town haters, brave painful setbacks, and defy the heavy pull of gravity itself. As the pole-vault crossbar is raised dangerously higher, her future is quite literally up in the air. Taking cues from the voice within, Maggie bravely launches herself skyward. When the bar is raised to a record-setting height at the state championship meet, can she find the courage it takes to soar into a brighter future of her own making?

"Heartwarming and realistic, this book is a winner " -- Nancy Julien Kopp, CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL

Former Miami Herald writer and newspaper editor Grant Overstake has written two award-winning novels, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon, and The Real Education of TJ Crowley. Learn more at

About the Author

Author and teaching artist Grant Overstake writes compelling novels on important themes for young people. His premier novel, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon (2012), was hailed as a "Fine YA novel about perseverance in sports and in life" by KIRKUS REVIEWS. Grant's second novel, The Real Education of TJ Crowley (2018), a story about thorny race relations during the Civil Rights Era, was a National Book of the Month selection by Bookclubz and named "Book of the Year" by the Kansas Authors' Club. His independent publishing firm, Grain Valley Publishing Company, produces award-winning novels with the help of fine editors and designers from around the nation. Learn more at

The discussion questions for Maggie Vaults Over the Moon were created by Dr. Melissa I. White. She is a Language Arts (ELA) Teacher and Mental Performance Consultant with a Doctorate in Sport Psychology who uses Maggie Vaults Over the Moon to inspire her own athletes at Hempfield Area High School in Western Pennsylvania. Dr. White earned a master's degree in Exercise Science: Sport Psychology from California University of Pennsylvania, and a doctorate in Sport and Performance Psychology from the University of Western States. While earning her bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Bethany College (West Virginia) she competed in the pole vault and javelin events. Like the hero Maggie Steele, Melissa was the only girl pole-vaulter at her high school, where she set a school record that lasted for over a decade. Her counseling practice, Performance Edge Consulting, helps athletes across the nation gain the mental edge to perform their best. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys spending time with her family, watching sporting events, listening to music, and most of all, training her Australian Shepherd, Wendy Lou, who also works with her clients as a sport therapy dog. To learn more about Dr. White's sport counseling service and download a free goal-setting worksheet, visit

Praise For…

“Girls who play sports and the coaches and families who support them will thoroughly enjoy this warm, uplifting story.” -- Christine Brennan, USA TODAY

"A fine YA novel about perseverance in sports and in life." -- KIRKUS REVIEWS

"An inspirational pick for young adult fiction collections." — MIDWEST BOOK REVIEWS

“The positive influence this book can have is invaluable. I’m thrilled to have my young athletes read it and be energized by its positive message: Stay driven and never give up!” – Erica (Bartolina) Fraley, US Olympian, Coach of Champions

"Heartwarming and realistic, this book is a winner!" -- Nancy Julien Kopp, CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL

"Maggie Vaults Over the Moon captures the true meaning of a high school athlete in Kansas and the opportunities activities can create for young people." - Kansas State High School Activities Journal

"I myself experienced loss when I was a young girl. Sports were my outlet and helped me through some of the hardest times of my life. This book captured me cover to cover. I highly recommend Maggie Vaults
Over the Moon!" --Becky Holliday, Team USA Olympic Pole Vaulter

"Maggie's inspirational story will make any girl feel like they can accomplish their dreams. This is a MUST read for any athlete, no matter what sport you compete in." --Taylor Marie Swanson, Kansas State High School Pole Vault Champion

"Maggie Vaults Over the Moon shows a touching and realistic perspective of life's changes wrapped into one heartwarming story. It will captivate those who have lost loved ones and imagine being with them again. This inspiring tale celebrates the courage to turn tragedy and loss into something positive, and how the determination to master a sport can heal. The bits of pole vault history, technique, and struggle will keep the attention of vaulters for sure." --Doug Bouma, Editor, VAULTER MAGAZINE

“A wonderful book for tweens and teens, Maggie has a tragedy without being gruesome, a love story that is innocent, and sports competitors that exhibit true sportsmanship. It is truly refreshing. The world needs more Maggies!” -- Joline Frook, Sports Mom

Where this story shines is the author’s use of pole vaulting as part of the storytelling. Overstake is an accomplished track and field guy and former sports reporter. What he builds in the family and on the track is wonderful. Inspired almost. I am not a track and field guy and could have cared less until a few hours ago. Now, I am smitten. I teach middle school and have recommended his second book to my students. I have a copy I loan out. I am adding Maggie Vaults Over the Moon to that list as well.” – Dave McIntire, The Independent School, Wichita

“Maggie is a must-read 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!” –Shannon Clark, Elementary Teacher, Girls’ Gone Sporty Ambassador

“From a professional standpoint this would be a good resource for those coping with loss or difficult circumstances, especially adolescents and young adults. I would also recommend this book to many of my high school athletes in my practice to help provide a clear example of the notion that circumstances are temporary and don't have to define you.” – Adrienne Langelier, RMA, LPC: Counseling & Sport Psychology Consulting

In "Maggie Vaults Over the Moon, author Grant Overstake weaves a beautiful story of triumph through adversity. The scene-setting is superb and the voice of Maggie, as narrator, is authentic. She really came to life, jumping off the pages to me. Overstake clearly mastered his subject and leads readers on an emotional journey that is elegantly crafted and delivers a satisfying climax. I can't wait for his next book.” –Bill Vogrin, Newspaper Columnist

“Maggie Vaults Over the Moon* is a well written tale of epic courage. The moral of the story profoundly touches ordinary lives. This story is not just about athletes, it's about the character that can be found within, regardless of whether athleticism is a reality for the reader.” -- Kim Ring, Middle School Teacher

“I read this book to preview it for middle and high school students before placing it in my classroom library. It's refreshingly appropriate, and the pole vaulting is exciting and feels very real. Maggie is extremely likeable, and this book would be a great gift for any young athlete.” – Beth Cates, Middle School Teacher

“Overstake gets everything right about Kansas, …a land I knew so well.” -- Diane Wahto, Poet

“I liked the fact that Maggie was a sports title but with a female main character. It is also nice to know that someone is writing books for our YA that aren't filled with rough language or sexual references but still have enough intrigue and action to keep student reading. " --Lisa Hinson, Librarian and Selection Chair for the Battle of the Books, Wichita Dioceses Schools.

For ‘Maggie Vaults Over the Moon’ on Audiobook Read by Tavia Gilbert

“Tavia Gilbert beautifully delivers the detailed descriptions of Maggie’s life at school and at home on her family’s Kansas farm. Most engaging is Gilbert’s portrayal of Maggie’s spirited grandmother, who offers her understanding and comfort. Gilbert’s splendid portrayals of Maggie’s real-life coach, teammates, and parents, as well as the P.A. announcements at her school, will thoroughly engage listeners.” - AudioFile Magazine
Product Details
ISBN: 9781732304727
ISBN-10: 1732304726
Publisher: Grain Valley Publishing Company
Publication Date: May 11th, 2021
Pages: 246
Language: English