A gripping portrait of a notorious Vancouver gangster and Hells Angels elite who descended into a life of homelessness and addiction, ultimately redeeming himself through award-winning youth advocacy.

As an outlaw biker living on the fringes of society Joe Calendino travelled the world, relishing the dangerous glamour of the Hells Angels’ lifestyle, even committing himself to an elite chapter in the organization: the Nomads Motorcycle Club or “one percenters.”

But his life soon spiralled into a world of drugs and debt. A tight noose of addiction began to rule. Eventually frustrated by Calendino’s recklessness, the Hells Angels stripped him of membership. In desperation, Calendino spent months in rat-infested crack houses, combing back alleys for anything that might help him get his next fix.

Finding himself on the cusp of death, he gained the support of an unlikely ally, Officer Kevin Torvik, a former high-school buddy on a very different path. Calendino not only recovered but thrived and redefined himself as a community youth leader, eventually winning the Courage to Come Back Award given to individuals who give back after overcoming tremendous adversity.

Told by his trusted former high school counsellor, author and educator Gary Little, To Hell and Back offers a page turning and rarely told perspective on gang life-a remarkable reminder of the power of individual transformation.

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PRAISE

“Every personal challenge and societal influence relevant to young people, in this generation, are contained within this book. Finally, a powerful addition to modern curriculum has just been laid before us!”
—J. KEVIN CAMERON
Executive Director Canadian Centre for Threat Assessment and Trauma Response

“Joe shares his mistakes and life lessons with wide-eyed teenagers who take his dose of reality as an opportunity to rethink their own decisions and move in a positive direction. Undoubtedly, Joe has directly and indirectly influenced thousands of students to take a productive and constructive path, away from risk and harm. His story is as incredible as his impact on vulnerable youth.”
— NEDER DHILLON
Director of Instruction, Continuous Learning

“Joe Calendino once thrived in a criminal underworld—until the lifestyle caught up to him and took nearly everything he had.”
— ROB RAI
Director of School & Community Connections for the Surrey School District

THE AUTHORS

EVENTS

Author - Joe Calendino

JOE CALENDINO has over eight years of experience working with youth in some of Vancouver’s most vulnerable neighbourhood as the founder and executive director of capital Yo Bro Yo Girl Youth Initiative. Along with his business degree, Joe holds a Substance Use Certificate from the Justice Institute of BC and is a certified black belt in Jiu Jitsu.

Author - Gary Little

GARY LITTLE is an educator whose roles have included teacher, principal and Associate Superintendent of Schools, Vancouver School Board. Currently he is Director of international baccalaureate educator programs at the faculty of Education, University of British Columbia. In the mid-1980s, Gary was Joe Calendino’s counsellor at Templeton Secondary School.

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PRESS

THE EAST VAN INTERVIEWS

In July 2017, Joe Calendino was interviewed during the production of his book trailer. These interviews have historic significance for the history of East Vancouver, and they offer considerable material to the story of To Hell and Back. We provide the uncut interviews here.

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR

* If you are unable to find the book in a bookstore, please contact the author for online purchase and shipment within 72 hours.





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TO HELL AND BACK | Digital Edition & Ebook

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A gripping portrait of a notorious Vancouver gangster and Hells Angels elite who descended into a life of homelessness and addiction, ultimately redeeming himself through award-winning youth advocacy.

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Additional Information
Weight 1 lbs
Dimensions 9 x 6 x .5 in