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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Journalist Pens YA Novel and "Gets It Right!"

Title: Maggie Vaults Over the Moon
Author: Grant Overstake
Author's Web Site www.maggievaultsoverthemoon.com
Genre: YA Fiction, Sports
ISBN: 978-1478296874
Publisher: CreateSpace
Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
Buy Link at Amazon.com

Grant Overstake, the author of Maggie Vaults Over the Moon, has created in Maggie Steele a courageous young woman who, despite self-doubt and grief, finds wholeness in a most unusual way, through the sport of pole-vaulting.

Being non-athletic myself, I wasn't sure how I would relate to a story of a teenager who took up pole vaulting as away to connect with her brother, tragically lost in a car wreck, and a way to heal herself. This is a young adult novel. Even so, I found myself caught up in Maggie's story. I believe readers of any age would find this book worthwhile.

In some ways, I don't relate to Maggie. I grew up in town and had little interest in my aunt and uncle's farm, or farm life in general. I would never, in my wildest dreams been elected homecoming queen. However, Overstake has made Maggie into a complex character, a teenager who has to navigate the halls and perils of her small town high school, much as I did in my hometown of Baxter Springs, Kansas.

Overstake gets everything right about Kansas. The story is set near Fort Scott, a town not too far away from my home town, and it is sweet to read about a land I knew so well. He also gets the people right, people, who with all their flaws, are still good and loving. Maggie's parents are particularly well developed. They are also caught up in the grief at the loss of their son, and we see that grief played out. However, they also understand Maggie's needs and try to help her as best they can.

Overstake is a former newspaper editor and sports writer. His background ensures that he know his stuff when it comes to writing about high school athletics. He is also an excellent writer.

Maggie Vaults Over the Moon
hums along like a well-oiled, wonderfully written machine.

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