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 Thriving Family, a marriage and parenting magazine.

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

Mattie Cook lives with her mother and grandfather above the family's coffee shop when the historic 1793 yellow fever epidemic hits Philadelphia. After Mattie's mother becomes ill, Grandfather takes Mattie to the countryside to stay with friends. The journey is interrupted first by Grandfather's heart trouble and then by Mattie's contracting the fever. The two finally return to Philadelphia to discover the city in ruins (including their coffeehouse), and Mother is nowhere to be found. Grandfather's subsequent death leaves Mattie hopeless and alone until she's reunited with the family's black employee, Eliza.

Christian Beliefs

At the time of this epidemic, most blacks in Philadelphia were free because the Quakers believed slavery was against God's will. Mattie tells a merchant that she goes to church because her mother never lets her stay home. She prays on several occasions and reads from the Psalms, thanking God for His providence and deciding she'd like to end each day reading from the Bible. She even stops herself when she begins to ask for God's punishment on those who ransacked her family's coffeehouse.

Eliza prays faithfully and fervently for the fever victims, and Mattie later follows Eliza's lead in caring tirelessly for the sick and their families. An egg seller rants, saying those getting the fevers are sinners afflicted by God because they don't go to church.

Other Belief Systems

Though Mattie and other main characters adhere to Christian beliefs, it could be argued that Mattie's ultimate success in overcoming hardship isn't duly credited to God but to the power of self-reliance and personal strength.

Authority Roles

Mattie's mother is a harsh, bitter woman since the loss of her husband. She is weaker and more compliant after her battle with the fever, and she allows Mattie to take over the adult responsibilities at the coffeehouse. Affectionate, loving Grandfather is a war veteran who teaches Mattie how to be a good soldier. His lessons prove useful when they're stranded far from home, and he saves her life despite his own health problems. Prayerful, faithful Eliza provides a solid example of godly compassion for one's fellow man. President George Washington returns to Philadelphia after the epidemic slows. His presence provides hope of a return to normalcy.

Profanity/Violence

In a few scenes, people are “bled,” which some doctors then believed would get rid of the toxins causing yellow fever. People also vomit blood a few times. The descriptions aren't excessive or gratuitous, but it may make readers queasy.

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!