Updated: Jun 8
Growing up as a dancer, I love reading inspirational stories about characters who persevere to succeed in athletics even when the going gets tough. I often think about whether I would have enjoyed participating in Track when I was growing up, but my life in the theatre did not leave room for much else. However, reading stories like Maggie Vaults Over the Moon gives me some insight into the world of high school sports even years after graduating.
This story takes place in rural Kansas on Maggie Steele’s family farm. She’s used to helping with farm duties like feeding the cats and making meals with her mother and grandmother while her father and brother, Alex, do the heavy lifting of harvesting and baling hay. However, when Alex is no longer able to do his part, Maggie must determine what her role really is and where she wants her life to lead. Navigating the stages of grief in a community where everyone knows everyone else can be challenging, but a special connection helps guide Maggie back to the light as she reaches for the stars. Please see my full review here.
An unexpected addition midway through this book gives a unique flavor to the remainder of the story. I won’t give too much away, but no matter what one’s feelings about the afterlife happen to be, the interpretation in this book is heartwarming and thought-provoking. Beside that, detailed descriptions of pole vaulting make readers feel as though they are learning the sport along with Maggie and reinforce the nuances found within this high-flying event.
I did find the prospect of college to be a bit delayed in this book, as Maggie doesn’t even begin to consider it until far into her Senior year (long past the traditional deadlines for admission). Despite that, however, the action in this story and Maggie’s emotional journey are compelling and readers will be cheering for her every step of the way.
Excellently designed for classroom study, young adults will find Maggie’s story to be accessible and enjoyable as they investigate its messages. Readers of all ages will be inspired by Maggie’s growth and self-discovery and will closely consider the possibility of chasing their own dreams, as well.
Do you know another great story I should feature in my blog? Message me here and let me know!