Miracle Creek by Angie Kim – A Book Review

About six weeks ago, I checked all of the sites I use to find good book recommendations and put about 15 requests in at my library.

Miracle Creek was the first to come in, and it had a wait list after me of nearly 100, so I quickly got to work reading.  Luckily, the book was attention-catching from the beginning, and I was able to read it in about 5 days, which, considering my limited reading time availability, is amazing.

Miracle Creek tells the story of a small group of people who receive specialized hyperbaric oxygen treatments in a place called the Miracle Submarine.  The patients go on “dives,” sometimes twice a day, where they breathe pure oxygen.  The hope is that this pure air will help them improve or recover, based on the reason they are going there.

Several children have autism, and another one is in a wheelchair.  A grown man also goes to help with low sperm mobility.

The Miracle Submarine is run by the Yoos, an immigrant couple from Korea who also have a teenage daughter, Mary.

The book opens with a courtroom scene.  The mother of one of the children with autism is on trial for setting the Miracle Submarine on fire, and in turn, killing her own child who was getting treatment at the time.  Yet, did this mother do it?

As the book unfolds, the reader discovers a web of secrets and that almost any one of the people who took “dives” as well as the Yoos themselves, had reason for setting the fire.

This courtroom drama gripped me, and I also loved the author’s insight into the world of autism.  I could relate to so many things the parents said and did.

While I loved the book, I was a bit unsatisfied with the ending.  Maybe it was too real for me?  Maybe I expected a happier ending?  Maybe I didn’t believe it?  I don’t know, but the ending did disappoint.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars on the Mom’s Plans’ scale.

EdAlive – Homeschool Crew Review

While I didn’t really enjoy having my kids in online, public school this year, one thing I did appreciate was the part of the 4th grade curriculum was learning to type.  By the time PB & J Girl had completed that curriculum, she was typing 14 WPM.  I was looking for a new typing program to help her continue developing her skills, so I was happy to review EdAlive.  We reviewed both EdAlive’s Typing Tournament Online and Maths Invaders Online.

About Typing Tournament Online

Typing Tournament Online offers intense practice to help users learning to type and improve their typing speed.  Typically, you take a typing test (one or three minutes–you decide), and then you do three different practice sets (that are also timed) to work on your skills.  The child can view their progress on a map, and they win awards as they progress.  The entire program is set up in medieval fashion with a knight guiding the way.

About Maths Invaders Online

Maths Invaders Online offers a variety of maths activities.

Students can practice their math facts, which is what PB & J Girl primarily did.  She worked on multiplication during the entire review period.

Students can also set their own assignments, which gives them the opportunity to work on any topics they struggle with.

Finally, students can play Galactic Campaign.

Our Thoughts on Typing Tournament Online

Unfortunately, Typing Tournament Online did not work as I had hoped.  PB & J Girl hates timed activities.  While I expected that she would have timed typing tests to measure her progress, I didn’t expect that almost every activity would be timed.  This stressed her out, and after a few weeks and a few tears, she stopped using the program.

I am already an accomplished typist able to type 70 wpm, but I thought I would try out the program and see if I could increase my own typing speed.  When you first start the program, you are given several choices for what typing speed you’d like to reach.  I clicked that I’d like to get up to 86 wpm.

What I disliked about the program is that even though I’m quite knowledgeable on typing, the typing instruction segment (which you cannot skip) was the same for my daughter as it was for me.  I would love to see the instruction segment for each lesson tailored to the level that each student is at.

Our Thoughts on Maths Invaders Online

PB & J Girl does not like memorizing math facts, but she didn’t mind using this program to practice math.  At first, she thought Galactic Campaign was too easy (it starts at a 5 to 6 year old level).  However, we later learned that she could skip to her level by hitting skip on the path through the program.  The way to get to the level that fits your current skills is not intuitive, though.  I spent a lot of time looking in the parent section for ways to get her to the appropriate level in Galactic Campaign.

Overall, PB & J Girl liked this program and used it several times a week.

I think EdAlive is a great program, especially since it offers several different programs.  It just wasn’t a good fit for PB & J Girl.

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I was one of 65 people to review EdAlive.  To read more reviews, click on the link below:

Typing Tournament & Maths Invaders Online {EdAlive Reviews}

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