Sunday, April 27, 2014

Spring Reading 2014 Annaleise Carr: How I conquered Lake Ontario to help kids battling cancer

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.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley. The book was released March 11, 2014.


There is a video showing the last couple of minutes of her swim as she reaches the shore after crossing Lake Ontario. You can also watch video about Camp Trillium and Annaleise's desire to raise money for the camp.

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