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."


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!"


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 sixth mystery book in " The New Sugar Creek Gang" series by Pauline Hutchens Wilson and Sandy Dengler is published by Moody Publishers.

The Case of the Monster in the Creek is written for kids ages 8 to 12. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

After Bits claims to see a monster in Sugar Creek, the gang is determined to discover what it is. In the meantime, Les helps his sisters, Hannah and Catherine, with monsters of a different kind — two unruly little cousins that the girls have agreed to baby sit for two weeks. The Sugar Creek Gang and their families grow fearful when Tyler disappears because a known child molester was seen in their area. They figure out that Tyler has run away to Sugar Creek County Park. What they don't know is that the molester is luring Tyler toward his truck with the promises of things that Tyler wants. Fortunately, the Creekers find Tyler moments before he gets into the molester's truck. The mystery of the monster in the creek is solved when a stream ecologist agrees to take the gang to the creek at night, they learn which kind of fish is in the creek.

Christian Beliefs

This book is written from a Christian worldview. God, prayer, Jesus and the Bible are all interwoven throughout the storyline. On several occasions, Les spends time with God — praying, giving thanks and simply enjoying His presence.

Other Belief Systems


Authority Roles

The Sugar Creek Gang recognizes that the Word of God commands them to honor and respect authority, especially that of their parents. An older woman accuses them of doing something they didn't do, and they are arrested without cause and slightly mistreated by the police. The children still treat the police with respect. Their parents take their side and do not allow the police to continue in their wrongdoing. At one point, Les does yell at his parents, but later apologizes. Another time, Bits rolls her eyes while her father is giving her instructions, but she obeys what he says. The two young cousins show no regard for authority whatsoever and wreak havoc in the Walker home and in their lives. Mr. Walker points out that that their lack of obedience to authority almost causes Tyler to be kidnapped by a child molester.


Though nothing explicit is shared, a man who has recently been released from jail tries to lure both Lynn and Tyler, on different occasions, into his truck with promises of a ride home and a puppy.



Discussion Topics

If your children have read this book or someone has read it to them, consider these discussion topics:

  • How did Lynn and Tyler handle the encounter with the stranger differently?
  • Why does Tyler choose not to obey what he knows is right?
  • What are the consequences? What should you do if you are approached by a stranger?

  • What goal has Lynn set for herself?

  • What is she willing to do in order to achieve that goal?
  • Do you have any long-term goals?
  • What kind of discipline or commitment will it take for you to achieve your goal?

  • What happens to Tyler as a result of his disobedience?

  • How have you disobeyed your parent (us)?
  • What are some of the consequences you have experienced because of disobedience?
  • What blessings have you reaped for doing what is right?

  • What are some of the false assumptions and judgments made by the characters in this book?

  • Have you ever made a false assumption about someone or something?
  • What was the result?
  • What does God say about drawing conclusions about people without knowing all of the facts?

Additional Comments/Notes

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

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

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!