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 teen girls' fiction book in "The Pathway Collection" by Michelle Buckman is published by Think Books, an imprint of NavPress.

Maggie Come Lately is written for kids ages 16 and up. 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

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Maggie was four when her mother committed suicide; in the 12 years since, Maggie has cared for her dad and younger brothers, Tony and Billy. On her 16th birthday, she wishes for change: she prays for popularity, a boyfriend, and other good things to happen for her. Instead, she finds a classmate's beaten and raped body, comes to blows repeatedly with Dad's new girlfriend, Andrea, and learns that a neighbor has been abusing Billy. The trying times force Maggie to think through her own beliefs, particularly about sex. She ultimately discovers that God has put her in these situations so she can help others.

Christian Beliefs

A number of characters, including Maggie, her dad, Andrea, Maggie's friend Dixie and Dixie's mom, attend church and discuss their faith. Maggie says short prayers in the midst of her struggles, asking for help and purpose in her life. Maggie's brother, Tony, attends church against his will and seems to be struggling with his identity in general. Andrea and a teacher tell Maggie God allowed her to find Sue (the rape victim) so she could help the girl and send a message to others.

Other Belief Systems

Mrs. Chambers has a charming way about her that helps her get what she wants from people. Maggie calls it her "pixie magic."

Authority Roles

Maggie's dad has been a loving provider for the family since his wife's suicide, though he's left the domestic duties to Maggie. He has trouble standing up to Andrea and has secret concerns about Maggie (who is the same age his wife was when she got pregnant out of wedlock). Mrs. Chambers, the mother of Maggie's friend Dixie, is easy to talk to and serves as Maggie's advisor; she even speaks to Dad on Maggie's behalf when Maggie doesn't know how to voice her concerns about Andrea. Mr. Dweller, whom everyone considers a kind-hearted youth helper at church, takes advantage of Billy's trust and sexually abuses him. One of Maggie's teachers makes it clear to the administration that she'll quit if they stop her from talking about her faith.

Profanity/Violence

There is one use of the word pissed.

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Maggie's classmate is raped and her brother is abused, though no graphic details are provided. Maggie, her friends and even friends' parents have discussions about cleavage and "boobs." A boy Maggie dates puts his hand under her bra and she slaps him. Maggie talks with other characters about her concerns that sex – not friendship – seems to be at the forefront of dating relationships with kids her age.

Discussion Topics

Get free discussion questions for this book and others, at ThrivingFamily.com/discuss-books. If your children have read this book or someone has read it to them, consider these discussion topics:

Additional Comments/Notes

  • Suicide: Maggie's depressed mother kills herself.

  • Rape: Maggie finds her classmate, Sue, raped and beaten and wonders if it could happen to her.

  • Abuse: Maggie's younger brother, Billy, is abused by the father of one of his friends.

  • Teen drinking and drug use: Maggie goes to a party and has a beer because someone hands it to her. Others are drinking and some are smoking joints.

  • Premarital sex: Maggie is frustrated that sex, not love or companionship, seem to be the cornerstone of her classmates' relationships. She ponders the issue frequently, and she wants more for herself than a shallow fling.

  • Modesty: Maggie has some concerns about wearing a new shirt because she's afraid it shows too much cleavage. Dad's girlfriend, Andrea, says it's OK to be proud of the body God gave you. Andrea, a rape counselor, notes that no one "asks" to be raped by wearing certain types of clothing.

  • Parents dating/blended families: Maggie's life is thrown off when her father starts dating a take-charge woman who tries to run the house before even becoming a member of the family. Maggie struggles to be kind to her for her father's sake but not let this woman run them all over.

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

For additional parenting resources, download a free issue of Thriving Family, a marriage and parenting magazine published by Focus on the Family, at ThrivingFamily.com/magazine.

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!