The Longest Road

To Hell and Back Again from Addiction to Advocacy

Joe Calendino and Gary Little

Recovery is the longest road toward a better future.

So says Joe Calendino, former full-patch Hells Angel and now award-winning youth community leader. In The Longest Road, Calendino remembers his journey to rock bottom, when he spiralled out of control, consumed by drugs and alcohol, ending up strung out and desperate in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Now, as executive director of Yo Bro Yo Girl Youth Initiative, it’s his mission to protect at-risk youth from that same fate.

In The Longest Road, Calendino keeps it raw and real—he’s the first to admit that his path to advocacy has been anything but straight. From the Hells Angels clubhouse to the darkest crack dens to the scene of a recent life-changing accident, Calendino reveals all his remarkable moments of struggle, intervention, recovery and redemption.

Written with Calendino’s trusted confidant and former high school counsellor Gary Little, and building on their first book together, To Hell and Back, this new memoir shares not just Calendino’s story but also the stories of the hidden angels who helped save his life and those of the young people he now strives to help. There are families who have lost loved ones to overdose, friends whose habits have landed them in gangs or in jail, and the call to action of a community that needs help, healing and hope—now more than ever.

With this timely and page-turning memoir, Calendino shows he is living proof that sometimes all it takes is someone believing in you to completely change your life. Never has this message been more important than it is right now.

JOE CALENDINO is a former Hells Angels Nomad and the co-founder and executive director of Yo Bro Yo Girl Youth Initiative. A recovering addict, he has made it his life’s mission to support at-risk youth through programs designed to prevent them from following a path of gangs, drugs and violence. In 2014, Calendino was honoured for his work with the Courage to Come Back Award from Coast Mental Health. Along with a diploma in business, Calendino holds a Substance Use Certificate from the Justice Institute of British Columbia. He published his first memoir, To Hell and Back, in 2017.

GARY LITTLE is a writer and lifelong educator who has served as a teacher, counsellor, principal, associate superintendent of schools for the Vancouver School Board, and director of International Baccalaureate Educator Programs at the Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia. Little has also contributed his expertise as board member of Yo Bro Yo Girl Youth Initiative, president of the Vancouver Counsellors’ Association and president of the Vancouver Association of Secondary School Administrators. Little was Joe Calendino’s high school counsellor at Templeton Secondary School in Vancouver, and he is also co-author of Calendino’s first book, To Hell and Back

$24.95 CAD $19.95 USD
Published August 13, 2024
5.5 x 8.5 288 Pages
Paperback, ebook