Annaleise Carr

How I Conquered Lake Ontario to Help Kids Battling Cancer

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Pub Date 11 Mar 2014 | Archive Date 22 Apr 2015
James Lorimer & Company, Lorimer Children & Teens


Over eight months worth of planning, hundreds of hours of hard physical training, amassing a team of dedicated crewmates, approaching sponsors and collecting donations—and finally, swimming for twenty-seven hours across the cold, rough waters of Lake Ontario.

Why would a fourteen-year-old girl take on such a challenge?

For Annaleise Carr, the motivation came not from a desire for glory. Her ultimate quest was to raise money for her new friends at Camp Trillium, a charity that provides a camping experience for kids with cancer. What kept her going through the cold water, the exhaustion, and the terrifying night swim was the thought of those kids and their families that she was helping. In August of 2012, she became the youngest person to cross Lake Ontario, breaking the record set more than fifty years earlier by Marilyn Bell.

Readers will meet an extraordinary fourteen-year-old girl in this book. As she tells her story, it becomes clear how idealism and an intense desire to help others can lead a young teen to almost unimaginable achievements.

Over eight months worth of planning, hundreds of hours of hard physical training, amassing a team of dedicated crewmates, approaching sponsors and collecting donations—and finally, swimming for...

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ISBN 9781459406315
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Average rating from 33 members

Featured Reviews

Annaleise Carr was inspired by children with cancer and wanted to do something to help them so she decided to swim across Lake Ontario. The book details her physical and mental preparation in anticipation of her long swim along with the financial struggles and legal details necessary to complete for anyone who would like to make such a crossing. Miss Carr is a true inspiration for children around the world. I would recommend this book for people of all ages looking to read something inspirational. Anyone looking for a book about perseverance and hard work will love this book.

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An amazing story of determination in such a young girl. She accomplished what many adults would not think of trying. This is an excellent book for young people.

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Several things attracted me to this book: it as a true story told by the middle-school student who accomplished this record-setting feat, it had plenty of photos to bring the story to life, and author Deborah Ellis (Parvana's Journey, The Breadwinner) had helped Annaleise to write it. Once I started reading, I went straight through it without stopping. Annaleise's personality shines through so clearly - her generosity, determination, courage, and humor all become clear as she talks about her famous swim. She decided to swim across Lake Ontario to raise money for Camp Trillium (a camp for children with cancer and their siblings) when she found out she was too young to be volunteer at the camp. Rather than waiting for 5 years and then volunteering, Annaleise came up with another way to help. The book takes us through the events that led to her decision to swim the lake, her preparations for the swim, and then the details of that amazing 26 1/2 hours of the swim itself. Photos show Annaleise, her family, Camp Trillium, scenes from the swim and her return to dry land. It is amazing that a 14-year-old not only completed the swim, but also organized all the sponsors and support necessary. She is remarkably humble about her success and makes sure to thank everyone involved - from her family to the corporate sponsors and everyone in between. Annaleise is a great role model for other teens and her book is an inspiring read for all ages.

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