Annaleise Carr

How I Conquered Lake Ontario to Help Kids Battling Cancer

by Annaleise Carr

with Deborah Ellis

"It's a metaphor . . . The battle with the lake is like their battle with cancer."

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.

[Fry reading level - 4.8

About the Authors

Annaleise Carr
Annaleise Carr
Deborah Ellis
Deborah Ellis

ANNALEISE CARR became the youngest marathon swimmer to cross Lake Ontario in August of 2012. She is the recipient of many citizenship and philanthropic awards, including the 2012 TVO Kids Super Citizen Award, the Ontario Lieutenant Governor's Community Volunteer Pin, the Rotary International Paul Harris Fellowship, and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. This is her first book.

DEBORAH ELLIS is the award-winning author of several books for kids and teens. She is best known for her novel The Breadwinner, which she wrote following her work at refugee camps in Afghanistan. She has also written on other serious issues affecting young people around the world, including drug use, poverty, HIV/AIDS, and war.


"An inspirational biography on a young Canadian. Lots of photos and text boxes with supplemental information. Highly recommended."
Jaime Tong,, Educator at Vancouver School Board
"In telling her story in partnership with the award-winning writer and champion of young women, Deborah Ellis, Carr has found yet another partner to help her to achieve new goals and share her inspiring story... At the core of the story though is Carr whose individual vision, determination, Christian faith and hugely supportive family and team helped her to meet the physical and mental challenges of the swim. 3.5/4 Stars."
Val Ken Lem,, CM: Canadian Review of Materials
"Readers who love sports stories should enjoy Annaleise's narration of her preparation for the crossing and the challenge of the swim itself. Readers who have personal experience with life-threatening illness may be comforted and inspired by Annaleise's passion for helping others. And of course, many readers enjoy stories about record-breaking events and the effort that goes into preparing for them. This book will serve them all." Rated G - good, even great at times, generally useful!
Leslie Vermeer,, Resource Links


A Junior Library Guild Selection
Silver Birch Non-Fiction Award Winner

Subjects (BISAC)

Scroll to Top