Current Releases
Our goal at Ascend Books is to publish exciting media-driven books focusing on high profile events, celebrities, current events and organizations. Our titles celebrate organizations, celebrities, teams and their legacies, anniversaries, accomplishments, and passions. We also publish wonderfully illustrated, message driven children’s books written by national and regional celebrity authors and educators.
Hot Off the Press:

‘Twas The Night Before Tipoff: The University of Kansas Jayhawks
By Chris Meggs
Illustrated by Rob Peters

'Twas The Night Before Tipoff - The University of Kansas Jayhawks takes the reader inside fabled Allen Fieldhouse the night before a game. The book brings to life the crimson and blue spirits that have come to call "The Phog" home after decades of outstanding teams and incredible wins along with generations of adoring fans. 'Twas The Night Before Tipoff - The University of Kansas Jayhawks has a story that is easy to follow and is both fun and interesting for young readers. This book is an officially licensed by the University of Kansas.
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‘Twas The Night Before Tipoff:  The University of Kansas Jayhawks

Ten Little Puppies
By Komondor Creative Agency

Dogs are man's (and kids!) best friend, and these little best friends want to jumpstart your little one's educational journey. Ten Little Puppies is a counting and colors book to help young readers identify common colors and counting from one to ten. And it's all with the help of some incredibly cute and furry friends!
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Ten Little Puppies

Ten Little Kittens
By Komondor Creative Agency

We all know kittens are purr-fect friends, and now these furry little kittens want to jumpstart your little one’s educational journey. Ten Little Kittens is a counting and shapes book that helps young readers identify and learn common shapes and counting from one to ten. And it's all with the help of some incredibly cute and furry friends.
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Ten Little Kittens

Go Cars Go!
By Mandi Dow
Illustrated by Rob Peters

Young children will love exclaiming Go Cars Go! when this delightful book is read aloud. Whether your little one is into cars or not, this sturdy board book is a fun, family-pleasing story. Author Mandi Dow's story is the typical experience of leaving home in the family car for school or work and ending the day back in the car returning home. Before arriving home, there are necessary errands to run, fun with family and friends, and a pizza dinner to go! Each fun stanza ends in the catchy refrain of "Go Cars Go!" that is sure to please young children who love to join in when someone reads to them.
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Go Cars Go!

A Passion for Purpose: Building Cities for Our Children
By Sylvester "Sly" James
with Sean Wheelock

In this candid autobiography that seamlessly incorporates political philosophy, the life story of Kansas City, Missouri Mayor Sylvester "Sly" James is told in a fast-paced, entertaining, informative, and authentic style.

A Passion For Purpose serves not just as the title of this revealing and perceptive book, but also as the mantra by which Sly James based his tenure as mayor--and his life.
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A Passion for Purpose

The Search for Your Best Furever Friend: An Animal Alphabet Adventure
By Julie Snodgrass and Anne Martucci
Illustrated by Rob Peters

Board book

The Search for Your Best Furever Friend: An Animal Alphabet Adventure is a story that young children will enjoy again and again. The colorful illustrations and delightful text will capture the attention and imagination of young learners. Although the "animal" narrator is making a case for being a best friend, this book will show the variety of animals that could possibly fill that role. The book provides a good lesson for young children - it's possible to have many "best" friends.
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The Search for Your Best Furever Friend

Mommy, Please Don’t Go to Work!
By Rhiannon Ally
Illustrated by Wendy Leach

Age Range: 2-8

Mommy, Please Don’t Go to Work! is a story for young children feeling sad when mom leaves for work. Leo and his sister, Luci, try to find a way to get Mommy to stay home from work. But when a mishap at their school threatens to cancel a bake sale, Leo and Luci's Mommy jumps into action. Mommy is a TV reporter and she can rally the community to help. We meet other working moms who are a doctor, principal, baker, and more who help make the bake sale happen. Leo and Luci learn that even though moms work, they don't forget that family always comes first.
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Mommy, Please Don’t Go to Work!

ABCs of Basketball: Dream Big. Think Big. Play Big.
By Mario Chalmers and Almarie Chalmers
Illustrated by Emmanuel Everett

Hardcover with dust jacket

Fast-paced, informative, and positive, The ABCs of Basketball is told through the voice of young "Rio" Chalmers, who knows that nothing in his life is out of reach. "Dream big, think big, play big." It's a message that will inspire children as well as adults.
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ABCs of Basketball: Dream Big. Think Big. Play Big.

Merry Menagerie: Animal Antics From A to Z
By Angie Pickman
Age Range: 2-6 years/Preschool -3

Merry Menagerie Animal Antics from A to Z is the perfect gift for baby showers, children’s birthdays. It is also a great book for gifts shops at zoos, nature centers and parks. Merry Menagerie is a lovely book for young and old artists interested in the graphics made through paper cutting. It is a fun and charming book to help learners master the Alphabet.
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Merry Menagerie :  Animal Antics From A to Z

Guardian of the Golden Gate : Protecting the Line Between Hope and Despair
By Kevin Briggs with Sam Mellinger. Forward by Meg Hutchinson. Afterward by Kevin Berthia
full-color 16-page insert

Click below to listen to Kevin speak about his experience! The wind was gusting around the Golden Gate Bridge on a March afternoon in 2005 when a 22-year-old man climbed the railing, convinced he and this world would be better without each other. He put himself on a thin beam 220 feet above the Pacific Ocean.
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Guardian of the Golden Gate

Mayor Sly and the Magic Bow Tie: A Kansas City Adventure
By Aja James and Audrey Masoner, with Sly James
Illustrated by Rob Peters

Full color illustrations, hard cover with color dust jacket

What would you do if you could travel back in time in your favorite city?

Kansas City is a gem in the Heart of America! And to understand why it’s such a great city, one should learn about the events and people behind its rich and remarkable history. So, what about a time travel adventure to explore Kansas City’s history as it happened? And who better to be our guide on this fascinating journey than Kansas City’s Mayor Sly James. Presenting the wonderfully illustrated adventure, Mayor Sly and the Magic Bow Tie for your bookshelves!
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Mayor Sly and the Magic Bow Tie

Let's Go Yankees! An Unforgettable Trip to the Ballpark
By Scott Pitoniak  Illustrated by Rob Peters

In Let's Go Yankees!, Poppy the Dog takes the subway with his grand-pups, Cammie and Oscar, to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. It’s the first baseball game for the grand-pups and they discover just how much fun it can be cheering for baseball's most famous team. Poppy has loved the Yankees since his first baseball game when he was just a puppy. He shows Monument Park to his grand-pups and teaches them about the great players who have worn the team's familiar pinstriped uniforms.
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Let's Go Yankees!

Finding My Father's Voice: A Baseball Love Story
By Leigh Ann Walker with Chuck Carlson; Foreword by Pat Hughes

A father's presence or absence in their children's lives, especially their daughters, impacts them on multiple levels. Finding My Father's Voice addresses what this loss meant to a daughter who fell in love with a father that she never knew.
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Finding My Father's Voice

Go Cubs Go!: Baseball’s Never Give Up Story
By Marv Levy; Illustrator: Rob Peters; Contributor: George Castle

Meet Grandpa Bruno, the bear. All his life he has been a loyal fan of his beloved Chicago Cubs. And though they have disappointed him many times, he has never given up on them. He has even convinced his four little grandchildren to cheer for those Cubbies. If the Cubs win, what a celebration there will be in the City of Chicago. GO CUBS GO!
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Go Cubs Go!

It's a Sunny Life: An Adventure Fit For Rain or Shine!
By Gary Lezak  Illustrations by Rob Peters

When the skies darken and the thunder rumbles, if you’re like most of us, you’re probably quick to grab the TV remote and check the weather. You want to know how bad the coming storm is going to be.
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It's a Sunny Life

Just Let 'Em Play : Guiding Parents, Coaches, and Athletes through Youth Sports
By Dr. Andrew Jacobs Jeff Montgomery
Peter D. Malone with Matt Fulks

The stories seem more prevalent today than ever: coaches and parents pushing kids to the point of "burnout" before high school, parents fighting with referees and umpires, coaches berating kids in front of teammates and parents, and even kids using performance-enhancing drugs.
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Just Let 'Em Play

Kansas City Chiefs ABCs and 1-2-3s
By Rob Peters, Illustrator

Do you know a future Kansas City Chiefs fan who's old enough to begin learning their alphabet and numbers?

Kansas City Chiefs ABCs and 1-2-3s is an alphabet and counting book that teaches kids ages 2-7 all about the Chiefs!

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Kansas City Chiefs ABCs and 1-2-3s

Passing the Torch: Building Winning Football Programs... with a Dose of Swagger Along the Way
By Howard Schnellenberger & Ron Smith
16 page photo insert

One of the most colorful and successful football coaches of the last half-century is ready to tell his story for the first time. Howard Schnellenberger learned his trade from two of the all-time greats, Paul “Bear” Bryant and Don Shula, winning championships with each mentor. Schnellenberger then took the football torch that was passed to him and became a transformative head coach at three universities. All three have now nominated him for the College Football Hall of Fame.
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Passing The Torch

Is This Legal? The Inside Story of the First UFC from the Man Who Created It
By Art Davie with Sean Wheelock
16 page photo insert

On November 12, 1993, an entirely new sport was unleashed on an unsuspecting viewing public — one that was unlike any other, and one that would come to redefine combat and action sports for a new generation.
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Is This Legal?

The Art of Scouting: Seven decades chasing hopes and dreams in major league baseball
By Art Stewart with Sam Mellinger
16 page photo insert

The heart and soul of Kansas City’s major league baseball franchise is a 5-foot-6 and impeccably dressed man you probably haven’t heard of. You don’t know the Royals history and successes until you know him.
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The Art of Scouting

Recent Releases:
Inside the Park :  Running the Base Path of Life
By Willie Wilson
 with Kent Pulliam
16 page photo insert

Willie Wilson played baseball with the mentality of a football player — a grimace, on his face. Totally unprepared for the spotlight of being in the major leagues, Wilson experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, sometimes unable to tell them apart. He helped lead the Kansas City Royals to their first World Series in only his second full season in the Major Leagues.
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Tigers vs Jayhawks :  From the Civil War to the Battle for No. 1
By Mark Godich

16 page color photo insert section

Missouri and Kansas went from unranked at the start of the 2007 college football season to playing for No. 1 in the country on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, so no wonder Brent Musburger chose his words carefully as he addressed a national television audience moments before kickoff of the rivals’ historic meeting.

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Winning with Purpose :  Raising Our Game and Lifting Our Teammates, On and Off the Court
By Satch Sullinger
 with John Dauphin

Sports is filled with successful coaches, but Satch Sullinger’s story offers championship-level inspiration to players, parents and coaches who care about values and winning the right way, on and off the court. In an ego-soaked era where highlights and sound bites speak to a “me first” societal mentality, Sullinger’s message cuts through the din, to the core of what matters most: mastering the fundamentals of selflessness that allow us to raise our game, lift our teammates and rise to collective glory.
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At the Hang-Up :  Seeking Your Purpose, Running the Race, Finishing Strong
By Ted Owens
 with Jim Krause
and Jesse Tuel

16 page photo insert

This is the inspirational story of Ted Owens — still the coach with the most wins in the history of Allen Fieldhouse — from growing up as a boy on a cotton farm in Southwestern Oklahoma during the Great Depression to coaching at the highest levels of the college basketball world.
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Relentless :  From Redshirt to the Rock of the Jayhawks
By Travis Releford
 Matt Fulks

Every team has at least one. That one player who’s called on to make some- thing happen. Throughout his career on the University of Kansas basketball team, Travis Releford was that guy. So much so, in fact, that on Senior Night 2013, head coach Bill Self told the Allen Fieldhouse crowd that Releford was “the rock of our team.”
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Live an Extreme Life :  Losing the Weight and Gaining My Purpose
By Bob Brenner
 Reji Laberje
16 page color insert

Growing up in small-town Wisconsin, Bob Brenner fed his addictions to food and football, becoming the biggest guy in his family of six siblings and on the defensive lines of winning team after winning team. Bob's size was an asset that he wanted to continue growing.
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It's Awesome, Baby! :  75 Years of Memories and a Lifetime of Opinions on the Game I Love
By Dick Vitale
 Dick Weiss
Joan Williamson

It’s hard to believe, but Dick Vitale, ESPN’s perennially youthful basketball analyst, is 75.
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Building the Perfect Star :  Changing the Trajectory of Sports and the People In Them
By Dr. Bob Ward
 Mac Engel
Foreword by Randy White

16-page photo insert

Today, it is inconceivable for a professional or even small college sports team to go without a coach designated to enhancing conditioning, strength training, and overall performance. But someone had to be first.
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From the Guys Who Were There :  The Kansas City Royals
By Bill Althaus

16-page photo insert

For 365 days, the Kansas City Royals have lived with the specter of the 2014 World Series hanging over their heads.
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Between The Lies
By Marv Levy

The Los Angeles Leopards and the Portland Pioneers are on a collision course toward the Super Bowl Championship. One team is led by a take-no-prisoners head coach; the other by a cerebral, slow-and-steady coach who has been thrust into the spotlight because of a tragedy. A tense showdown is about to unfold before the world’s football fans.
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The Shame of Me :  One Man’s Journey to Depression and Back
By Ryan Lefebvre
 with Jeffrey Flanagan

Kansas City Royals’ broadcaster Ryan Lefebvre seems to have it all – a dream sports job of announcing Major League Baseball, a huge house on a lake, plenty of expensive toys, good looks, and the admiration of friends and fans. But depression is seldom deterred by such superficial trappings. And depression’s grip on Ryan was so strong and so unyielding that he nearly ended his life.
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The 300 Club :  Have We Seen the Last of Baseball’s 300-Game Winners?
By Dan Schlossberg

Foreword by Wayne Hagin

Coming in April: Since the beginning of Major League Baseball in 1876, only two dozen pitchers have won 300 games. And because of new philosophies about pitch counts, the role of relief pitchers, shrinking strike zones, and fi ve-man rotations, there’s a good chance that the 300 Club has admitted its last member.
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Welcome to the Blue Heaven :  Don't Bet Against the Goalkeeper
By Jimmy Nielsen
 with Paolo Bandini

Major League Soccer's Goalkeeper of the Year for 2012, Jimmy Nielsen, has established himself as one of the best players in the league and a fan favorite in Kansas City, playing for Sporting Kansas City. Yet while supporters are familiar with his achievements on the field and larger-than-life personality off it, few are aware of the remarkable story that led him to the US Midwest.
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The Curse :  Cubs Win! Cubs Win! ... or do They?
By Andy Van Slyke
 with Rob Rains

Could this finally be the Cubs’ season? The team is in first place and playing well as the All-Star break approaches.
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Dickie V’s ABCs and 1-2-3s :  A Great Start for Young Superstars
By Dick Vitale
 Illustrated by Craig Lueck

Do you know a young superstar who’s old enough to begin learning their alphabet and numbers? A budding basketball fan who’s ready to take on the world of reading and hoops?
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Many Happy Returns :  The Story of Henry Bloch, America’s Tax Man
By Tom Bloch
 Introduction by Henry Bloch
16-page color insert

Does the very thought of preparing your own taxes give you a headache? Get to know the man who is responsible for helping more than 20 million taxpayers with this dreaded annual burden.
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Kansas Jayhawks ABCs and 1-2-3s
By Rob Peters

Kansas Jayhawks ABCs and 1-2-3s is an alphabet and counting book that teaches kids ages 2-7 all about KU!
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Lombardi’s Left Side
By Herb Adderley & Dave Robinson
 with Royce Boyles

Winning was not the only thing. Something more important than winning football games occurred during the Lombardi Dynasty. Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers ushered the National Football League to the forefront of American sports popularity during a racially explosive time, proving that teamwork transcended the color barrier.
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Getting a W in the Game of Life :  Using my T.E.A.M. Model to Motivate, Elevate, and Be Great
By Dick Vitale
 with Reji Laberje

It’s tip-off time and time to get that W, a WIN, in the most important game of all... the game of life! Dick Vitale has been in our homes for more than 30 years calling College Basketball on ESPN. Now, invite him in to share the incredible legacies lived and lessons learned that have resulted in a formula for success he’s willing to share with today’s young men and women.
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One Man’s Dream: My Town, My Team, My Time
By Frank White
 with Bill Althaus

When the Kansas City Royals appeared in the 1985 World Series, manager Dick Howser had to make a difficult, and controversial, call. Because the series started in the National League city of St. Louis, there would be no designated hitter, which meant that Hal McRae would be relegated to the role of a reserve player coming off the bench.
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Blood, Sweat, & Bears: Putting a “Dent” in the Game I Love
By Richard Dent
 with Fred Mitchell

Bears’ overwhelming defense during their Super Bowl run, and a 2011 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, was an 8th-round draft pick out of tiny Tennessee State in 1983. The tall and skinny rookie would become a 4-time Pro Bowl selection who also played for the San Francisco 49ers, Indianapolis Colts, and Philadelphia Eagles. Dent wound up his brilliant 15-year career with 137.5 sacks, eight interceptions, 13 fumble recoveries, and two touchdowns.
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Special Edition Autographed Collector's Books:

Lombardi's Left Side
By Herb Adderly, Dave Robinson, and Royce Boyles

Lombardi's Left Side is available in an autographed, leather bound, collector's edition. This edition is numbered and guaranteed not exceed 500 copies. Each copy is personally autographed by Green Bay Packers Hall of Famers Herb Adderley and Dave Robinson as well as co-author Royce Boyles, on a specially designed vellum page one, which is exclusive to this special edition. Each copy comes complete with a Publisher's Certificate of Authenticity and a special walnut display easel. Each copy is truly one-of-a-kind and will be a treasured display piece in your library or memorabilia collection. Only Available for a limited time and on a first-come-first-served basis.

The collector's edition of this book is close to being sold out. Please email to see if a book might be available.

One Man's Dream My Town, My Team, My Time
By Frank Wright, with Bill Althaus

One Man's Dream My Town, My Team, My Time by Frank White with Bill Althaus is available in an autographed, leather bound, collector's edition. This edition is numbered and guaranteed not exceed 500 copies. Each copy is personally autographed by Hall of Fame second baseman and eight time Gold Glove recipient Frank White, on a specially designed vellum page one, which is exclusive to this special edition. Each copy comes complete with a Publisher's Certificate of Authenticity and a special walnut display easel. Each copy is truly one-of-a-kind and will be a treasured display piece in your library or collection.

The collector's edition of this book is close to being sold out. Please email to see if a book might be available.

Attention Media: Special Interview Requests with Ascend Books Authors

Interview and media copy requests should be made by calling (913) 948-7635 or email

Please provide your affiliation, email address, mailing address and daytime phone number.

Guardian of the Golden Gate Bridge

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Angie Pickman's cut-paper art animation. See more in Merry Menagerie!

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Mayor Sly and the Magic Bow Tie featured on KCL!

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Watch Marv Levy, author of Go Cubs Go!, discuss his new children's bestseller with Sports Illustrated.

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Just Let 'Em Play

Just Let 'Em Play authors Dr. Andrew Jacobs and Pete Malone with the Rally Volleyball Association of Frisco, Texas, at the ASICS Show-Me National Qualifier in Kansas City!

It's a Sunny Life!

It's A Sunny Life Testimonial #2 from Weather2020 on Vimeo.

To purchase your copy of Building the Perfect Star by Bob Ward, foreword by NFL Hall of Famer Randy White, click HERE to go to Barnes&
Kansas City Chiefs ABCs

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Dick Vitale discusses his new book:
It's Awesome, Baby!

Art Stewart: "The Art of Scouting"

Author Bob Brenner
speaks about his new book,
"Live an Extreme Life"

Coach Howard Schnellenberger
talks about Winning!

Check out his book, "Passing the Torch: Building Winning Football Programs... with a Dose of Swagger Along the Way"
Interview with Travis Releford on "Relentless"

New Book Looks At Mizzou, KU Rivalry

Tigers vs. Jayhawks

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Royals Hall of Famer Willie Wilson's new book, 'Inside the Park'

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Kansas City Royals Legend
Frank White
on Reading, Libraries, and Superheroes

Buy This Book Autographed Collector's Edition

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