WHY WE CARE


Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live. Through reviews, articles and discussions, we want to spark intellectual thought, spiritual growth and a desire to follow the command of Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."

YOUR STORIES


Family uses Plugged In as a ‘significant compass’

"I am at a loss for words to adequately express how much it means to my husband and me to know that there is an organization like Focus that is rooting for us. Just today I was reading Psalm 37 and thinking about how your ministry provides ways to 'dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.' We have two teenagers and an 8-year-old in our household...Plugged In has become a significant compass for our family. All three of our kids are dedicated to their walk with Christ but they still encounter challenges. Thanks for all of your research and persistence in helping us navigate through stormy waters."

Plugged In helps college student stand-up for his belief

"Thanks for the great job you do in posting movie and television reviews online. I’m a college freshman and I recently had a confrontational disagreement with my English professor regarding an R-rated film. It is her favorite movie and she wanted to show it in class. I went to your Web site to research the film’s content. Although I had not seen the movie myself, I was able to make an educated argument against it based on the concerns you outlined. The prof said that she was impressed by my stand and decided to poll the whole class and give us a choice. We overwhelmingly voted to watch a G-rated movie instead! I’ve learned that I can trust your site and I will be using it a lot in the future.”

Plugged In brings ‘Sanity and Order’ to Non-believer

“Even though I don’t consider myself a Christian, I find your Plugged In Web site useful and thought-provoking. No one reviews movies like you do. Instead of being judgmental, you put entertainment ‘on trial.’ After presenting the evidence, you allow the jury of your readers to decide for themselves what they should do. In my opinion, you bring sanity and order to the wild world of modern day entertainment. Keep up the good work!”

Mom thinks Plugged In is the ‘BEST Christian media review site’

"Our family doesn't go to the movies until we go online and check out your assessment of a given film. I think this is the BEST Christian media review website that I've found, and I recommend it to my family and friends. Keep up the good work!"

SUPPORT THE WORK OF PLUGGED IN

Our hope is that whether you're a parent, youth leader or teen, the information and tools at Plugged In will help you and your family make appropriate media decisions. We are privileged to do the work we do, and are continually thankful for the generosity and support from you, our loyal readers, listeners and friends.

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Book Review

This book has been reviewed by Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine. It is not in a series but is the first in a collection of eight books with Ramona Quimby as the main character.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Beezus Quimby thinks that her little sister, Ramona, is a big nuisance. Whether she's riding a tricycle through the living room, blowing bubbles in her lemonade or finger painting on the family cat, Ramona finds a way to exasperate her sister. Nine-year-old Beezus decides to stop embroidering a potholder for her Aunt Beatrice so she can read to Ramona, hoping to quiet her down.

The plan backfires when Ramona chooses a book about a steam shovel and insists on making noisy sound effects as Beezus reads. Finally Beezus offers to walk with Ramona to the library so she can choose a different book. Ramona embarrasses her sister by wearing a pair of paper bunny ears and showing a neighbor the scabs on her knees. Instead of accepting the books Beezus suggests, Ramona chooses another book about a steam shovel, annoying her sister once again.

At home, Beezus shows Ramona how to spell and write her name, and Ramona practices by writing it on the pages of the library book in purple crayon. This makes Beezus furious because the book was checked out on her card. Mrs. Quimby gives Beezus $2.50 and tells the girls to walk back to the library to pay for the damaged book.

As Beezus and Ramona walk to the park, Beezus thinks about how people always comment on Ramona's imagination. She wishes that she had a good imagination, too. Ramona plays in the park while Beezus attends an after-school art class nearby. Soon after class begins and Beezus is painting a picture of a make-believe animal, Ramona arrives with a make-believe lizard on a string. The art teacher invites Ramona to sit with Beezus and paint.

Although Beezus complains that she doesn't have any imagination, the teacher encourages her to just try and have a good time. Beezus does have fun painting, but when Ramona steals a classmate's lollipop, Beezus decides that it's time for her to go back to the park where she belongs. While Ramona plays outside, Beezus is inspired and paints a dragon decorated with lollipops down its back. The teacher praises Beezus for her imagination and tacks the painting on the wall where everyone can see it.

Another day, the Quimbys' neighbor Henry Huggins stops by to play checkers with Beezus. Ramona wants to join them, but Beezus says she's too little. When Mrs. Quimby tells Ramona not to bother them, Ramona has a tantrum and is sent to her room. When she agrees to leave them alone, she is allowed to leave her room, but then she immediately gets into more trouble by locking Henry's dog, Ribsy, in the bathroom after he eats her cookie. Finally Mrs. Quimby is able to open the door by slipping a nail file into the lock. As Beezus listens to her mother and Aunt Beatrice talk on the telephone, she realizes that she would like to have a close relationship with Ramona, but she finds it difficult because Ramona is so annoying.

Mrs. Quimby asks Beezus to watch Ramona after school while she goes to the market. When Ramona wakes from her nap, Beezus gives her a treat and goes to her own room to change clothes. Then she wants to read Ramona a story, but can't find her. Beezus looks all over the house and finally discovers Ramona in the basement, where she has taken one bite out of dozens of apples. Beezus worries that her mother will be angry with her for not watching Ramona more carefully. When Aunt Beatrice calls, she advises Beezus to ignore Ramona and playfully suggests that their mother make applesauce. Beezus shares this information with her mother, and the girls help Mrs. Quimby make applesauce all afternoon. Even though Ramona admits to being "bad" that afternoon, she is not punished, which surprises her.

One afternoon, a neighbor leaves her children at the Quimbys' house to play with Ramona. Soon after that, several other children arrive, and it becomes clear to Mrs. Quimby that Ramona has invited all of her friends to a party. Beezus thinks quickly and decides that having a parade will entertain the crowd. She makes flags out of rulers and handkerchiefs and serves everyone applesauce.

On Beezus' 10th birthday, her mother bakes her favorite cake. As she is preparing it, Beezus reads Hansel and Gretel to Ramona. Then, while no one is watching, Ramona puts her rubber doll in the oven where it melts, spoiling the cake. Beezus realizes that sometimes she doesn't love her little sister. Aunt Beatrice brings another birthday cake when she comes to dinner that evening. After the presents are opened, Aunt Beatrice and Mrs. Quimby reminisce and laugh about things that happened when they were young. They admit that they didn't always love each other, either. Beezus blows out the 10 candles on her cake, wishing every birthday could be as happy as this one.

Christian Beliefs

None

Other Belief Systems

None

Authority Roles

Mr. and Mrs. Quimby maintain authority in the home with a great deal of patience and a sense of humor. Beezus also looks to her Aunt Beatrice for advice when Ramona misbehaves, and her aunt offers helpful, loving counsel. When Ramona sneaks into her sister's art class, Miss Robbins, the teacher, doesn't chastise her but encourages her to use her imagination and express herself along with the rest of the class. When Ramona writes in a library book that Beezus has checked out, they must report to Mrs. Evans, the librarian, for the consequences. Mrs. Evans is fair but firm when she tells the girls that the book must be paid for and that it now belongs to Beezus.

Profanity/Violence

None

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

None

Discussion Topics

Get free discussion questions for this book and others, at FocusOnTheFamily.com/discuss-books.

Additional Comments/Notes

You can request a review of a title you can't find at reviewrequests@family.org.

Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. The inclusion of a book's review does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

Episode Reviews

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!