Throughout my 17 years at HarperCollins I can count on one hand the number of authors who have impressed me as much as Kaleb Dahlgren, former assistant captain of the Humboldt Broncos hockey team and one of thirteen survivors of the tragic bus crash. Considering what he’s been through in his relatively short life none of us would be surprised if he faced the world tentatively. But that’s not who Kaleb is and you’ll see that in Crossroads, his new memoir – on sale TODAY.
This letter below will show you what I’ve been lucky enough to learn about Kaleb over the past several months working with him: he is bright, optimistic and inspiring. He loves his family, his friends, his sport and his country, and he will show you how, no matter what crossroads you find yourself at, you can choose to face your challenges and win.
Dear Indigo Booksellers,
I want to start by thanking each of you for your commitment to the book and service industry. During this pandemic, you knowingly put yourself at risk in order to keep the flow of books open to the public. Your service is so important as you are helping people find entertainment and escape as they stay at home. I appreciate you being there so people can access my book, Crossroads.
When I was presented with the opportunity to write this book, I wanted to run away. I didn’t think that I could do it, or that I was ready to be vulnerable, or that I was willing to put myself out there in the public eye. As I was trying to wrap my head around everything, I was sitting in a lecture and my professor said, “If you want to make a difference in this world, it starts with you!” That’s when it hit me–this is an opportunity to hopefully make a difference in someone’s life by sharing my story. I didn’t want this book to be solely about the Humboldt Broncos bus crash. I agreed that if it was written from a “helping” perspective, and was about my entire life, I would do it.
Crossroads chronicles my life from childhood to the end of the summer of 2019. There are many different themes throughout the book and several things that only a few know about me! The pillars of the book are Hope, Resilience, and Family—and everyone can relate to parts of my story. Writing this memoir was challenging, emotional, cathartic, and enlightening. I was able to reflect on all the various crossroads in my life, the people who helped me navigate them, and those who have shaped me into the person I am today.
Mine is just 1 out of 29 stories from the Humboldt Broncos bus on that tragic day. I decided to go outside of my comfort zone and grow as an individual, so that hopefully this helps someone when they face crossroads in their own life. I have lived my life focusing on the positives and not letting the negatives bring me down. Life is all about your perception and you are the one who decides how you react to life. I was raised with this thinking and I live by it every day.
I grew up in Saskatchewan, the “Land of the Living Skies,” and have a great love for the wide-open spaces, the sunrises, sunsets, and the overall beauty of the province—especially its kind, caring, and giving people! While beautiful, the vast and often secluded rural areas can be difficult to get to in an emergency. I am donating a portion of proceeds from the sales of the book to STARS (Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service). STARS air ambulances operate in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. They can get to rural areas quickly and go to areas road ambulances cannot. This service is vital to these three provinces, and on April 6th, 2018, they helped save lives, and continue to save lives every day. There is nothing more powerful than a second chance at life.
I hope you and your customers enjoy reading Crossroads. I know it will be emotional for many readers, especially for those involved in the Broncos crash and all those affected by this tragedy. It is my hope that my 16 angels are proud of me as well as my entire Broncos family. If this book can help one person who is struggling, then all my efforts were worth it.
Thank you for taking the time to read this note; I really appreciate it!
Find out more about Crossroads here, and watch our TV commercial (airing on CBC, CTV, and TSN’s Hockey Night in Canada for the rest of March) here.