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

Lexie by Audrey Couloumbis has been reviewed by Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine.

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

Ten-year-old Lexie used to spend vacations at the shore with her parents. Now it's summer again, a year after their divorce, and Dad takes her back to their beach house for a week. As they're arriving, he drops a bomb: He's invited his girlfriend, Vicky, and her two sons to spend the week with them.

Before Lexie has had time to process the news, lively Vicky arrives with 14-year-old Ben and 3-year-old Harris. Ben is moody, and Harris, who likes being called Mack and making truck sounds, gets his sticky, fuzzy fingers all over everything. Lexie feels betrayed and disappointed. She can't call home because she doesn't want Mom to know Vicky is there.

Throughout the week, the vacationers experience unpleasant, often painful relationship dynamics. Dad gets frustrated with the way Vicky disciplines Harris. Ben is embarrassed by his mother's flirtation with Lexie's dad. Lexie is angry with her father's secrets, her inability to spend time with him and with strangers touching and breaking her things. She hates being relegated to a tiny bedroom and wonders if there will be room for her anywhere anymore.

In spite of the awkwardness, Lexie gets to know Ben and Harris better. Ben, who knows nothing about the beach, sees a relatively harmless sand shark in a tide pool and becomes concerned. He insists they get it back into the ocean before it bites someone. Rather than telling him not to worry, Lexie spends the day helping him carve out canals in the sand so the shark can return to the ocean. Dad, Vicky and Harris come to help. When Ben later runs away, Lexie talks to him and encourages him to come back.

Another day, Dad makes Lexie take Harris beach combing. In spite of herself, she starts to find the boy charming. She's shocked when Harris announces that they're all getting married; she confronts her dad about not telling her the truth and makes him call Mom and tell her so she [Lexie] won't have to carry around such a gigantic secret.

Dad calls Mom and tells her about his plans with Vicky. When she talks to Lexie, Mom seems fine with the news. More than anything, she's concerned about how Lexie feels. Lexie is relieved by Mom's reaction, and she's surprised to realize that she's really OK with things. She goes back to the beach to dig for shells with Harris.

Christian Beliefs


Other Belief Systems


Authority Roles

Lexie's mom, her primary guardian, is sad to be away from her daughter for a week. Mom is dating someone, and she responds graciously when she learns Dad is getting remarried. Dad upsets Lexie by keeping secrets from her. He doesn't tell her Vicky is coming for their week together until they reach the beach house, and Lexie learns from Harris about Dad's impending remarriage. Dad is a loving father who, in the midst of some awkward moments, tells Lexie that relationships take work. Vicky is an attentive mother to her boys and is genuine and pleasant to Lexie.




When the group discusses sleeping arrangements, Vicky says she'll be sleeping with Harris to make him feel comfortable in a strange place.

Discussion Topics

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

Additional Comments/Notes

Couloumbis is a Newbery Honor-winning author.

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



Readability Age Range

8 to 12


Audrey Couloumbis






Record Label



Random House Children's Books, a division of Random House Inc.


On Video

Year Published



2011 Bulletin Blue Ribbon (Center for Children's Books)


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!