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 the 16th in the "Magic Tree House" Series.

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

As Jack and Annie walk to the magic tree house, they worry that this might be their final mission. When they question the magical librarian Morgan Le Fay about this, Morgan doesn't answer their question directly. Instead, she prepares the children to recover the fourth lost story. She shows the siblings a story title written in Greek script and gives Jack a research book about ancient Greece.

When they arrive at their destination, they see an olive grove and white tents. Jack researches the scene in the book and learns it is the site of the ancient Olympics. As they near the Olympic grounds, Annie notices that she doesn't see any girls. They finally see a woman on stage at an outdoor theater but realize the actor is actually a man when he pulls a wig off his head. They learn that women in ancient Greece were not allowed to act. They are leaving the theater when they run into a man who is somewhat surprised by Annie's bold act of walking through Olympia. He introduces himself as Plato.

When Jack shows Plato the name of the lost story, Plato recognizes the name immediately and ushers Jack and Annie into the courtyard of the author's home. Plato tells them that they must never reveal this poet's identity and leaves to find the poet. As the children read more from their research book, Annie is astounded to learn that Greek girls are not allowed to attend school.

Plato returns with a young woman holding a scroll and introduces her as the secret poet. The poet tells Annie that she taught herself how to read and write. Plato explains that the woman will get in trouble if the poem is read in Olympia, so they give the scroll to the children and ask them to take it to their land. As they leave the house, Annie becomes disheartened about Greek society and the things girls are not allowed to do. She tells Jack she is ready to leave.

Jack reminds her about the Olympics, which excites her, and she decides to stay. When Plato tells them that Annie cannot attend because she is a girl, Annie thinks the situation is unfair. Jack agrees with Annie and says they will go home, but Annie insists that Jack attend the games while she returns to the play at the outdoor theater. Although he is unsure about leaving Annie alone, Jack goes with Plato to the Olympic grounds.

On the way, Plato shows Jack the gymnasium where the athletes train and takes him into Zeus' temple. Plato tells Jack that the games are played in honor of Zeus, who is the head over all the other gods and goddesses.

The trumpets announce the start of the Olympic parade, so Jack and Plato hurry to the grounds. While Plato points out the different athletes and their events, Jack looks up from his notes and finds Annie dressed as a soldier with a helmet hiding her face. Though Jack shakes his head and even shouts at her in an attempt to make her leave the grounds, Annie refuses and turns to watch the chariot race. During the race, she becomes excited and begins to jump and shout. Her cape falls off, and she removes her helmet. Two guards realize she is a girl.

At first Annie is surprised when the guards grab her, but she quickly becomes angry and fights them. When Annie yells to Jack to get the lost story, he pulls out the scroll, holds it to the sky and shouts. The story is supposed to help them in their darkest hour. The crowd grows silent as a huge white horse pulling a chariot appears.

After Annie breaks free from the surprised guards, she and Jack run toward the horse and climb into the chariot. As the horse races away, Jack notices it has grown wings, and they are now soaring through the air. Annie tells the horse to take them to the tree house.

Back in their own time, Morgan tells Jack and Annie that they have brought back the story of Pegasus, the winged horse of Greek mythology. Morgan explains that each character from the lost four stories can be seen in the stars. She shows them the constellations and the Milky Way.

Morgan lets the two know that they will have many more missions, and that she will send for them when their next mission is ready.

Christian Beliefs

None

Other Belief Systems

In this series, there is a tree house that is magic. Jack and Annie can see it, but others can't. Morgan le Fay is an enchantress and the owner of the tree house. Her magic allows the tree house to transport Jack and Annie through time and into imaginary worlds. They go to the places they find in the pictures of books that are within the tree house. In a previous book, Morgan le Fay has asked them to recover four items from different time periods and stories.

Greek mythology is briefly explored. Plato instructs Jack on the athletes' belief in Zeus. As Plato and Jack pass an olive tree, Plato says it is a sacred tree to the Greeks. He also shows Jack a statue of the goddess Nike. He then escorts Jack into a temple with a two-story-high statue of Zeus, which is referred to as the mighty Greek god. Jack feels small and says hello to the statue in a small voice.

Authority Roles

Annie ignores the Greek restriction on girls attending the Olympics. She also ignores Jack — her authority figure in the book — when he indicates she should leave the Olympic grounds.

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!