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 first book in the "Humphrey" 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

Humphrey, the class hamster in Room 26, relates the wonderful times he has had with Ms. Mac, a temporary, but long-term, substitute teacher. He is now heartbroken because Ms. Mac has left Longfellow School to teach in Brazil. Mrs. Brisbane, the classroom's permanent teacher, has returned, and Mrs. Brisbane does not want Humphrey to stay. Unlike Ms. Mac, who took Humphrey home with her every day, Mrs. Brisbane leaves him alone in the room for the night. Humphrey meets Aldo, the happy and boisterous janitor.

Mrs. Brisbane has been trying to draw shy Sayeh out of her shell. They make a deal. If Sayeh raises her hand at some point in class during the next week, Mrs. Brisbane will not send a note home to her parents.

Mrs. Brisbane doesn't want to take Humphrey home for the weekend. Principal Morales agrees to take Humphrey, and the following week will begin his weekend stays with students. The principal struggles to maintain order in his own home. Humphrey escapes his cage and will not be coaxed back in until the Morales family works together.

The following week, Aldo admits to Humphrey that he is lonely because he works nights and his friends work during the day. On Wednesday after class, Humphrey escapes his cage for a snack and sees a newspaper clipping advertising a support group for people who work nights. Humphrey leaves it for Aldo to find that night.

Sayeh does raise her hand that week. She volunteers to take Humphrey home. Humphrey soon learns that Sayeh doesn't speak up in class because English is her second language. Her father has a minimal grasp on the language, and her mother and younger brother don't speak it at all. During the weekend, Sayeh explains that Humphrey only understands English, so the whole family must only speak English around him. By the end of the weekend, Sayeh's mother decides to enroll in English classes.

During the next week's Halloween party, each of the students is asked to perform some kind of talent. Sayeh wins with her singing, and Humphrey wins Best Costume. (He stole a rag off Aldo's cart and used it to be a ghost.) Aldo arrives happy that night because he met a special woman at the support group.

Humphrey spends a weekend with A.J., who always talks too loud in class. Humphrey soon learns this is because his home is very loud — the television and radio are always on. Humphrey solves the problem by escaping his cage and unplugging the television. When the family thinks it's broken, they find other means of entertainment, including telling old family stories and playing cards.

When Thanksgiving break rolls around, Mrs. Brisbane is the only person able to take Humphrey home. She doesn't want to take care of the hamster because she's busy taking care of her husband, who was in a serious car accident and is now confined to a wheelchair. While Mrs. Brisbane is out, Humphrey escapes his cage. Mr. Brisbane must recapture him. Mr. Brisbane realizes he doesn't have to let the wheelchair restrict him. He spends the rest of Thanksgiving break constructing wooden obstacle courses for Humphrey to run through. He also makes Humphrey an extension of his cage for the classroom.

Ms. Mac surprises the class at the holiday party with gifts from Brazil. Though Humphrey's happy to see her again, Humphrey realizes he can't go home with Ms. Mac because the students of Room 26 each have problems he can help them solve.

Christian Beliefs

The Brisbanes celebrate Christmas at their home. Several students at the holiday party wear Santa hats.

Other Belief Systems

The class celebrates Halloween together. One of the students Humphrey spends a weekend with lights a menorah with her family.

Authority Roles

Ms. Mac and Mrs. Brisbane both teach Room 26 at separate times. Mrs. Brisbane occasionally holds back a misbehaving student from recess to discuss his or her behavior. Principal Morales gives his own children direct instructions at home and also tells Mrs. Brisbane to allow the children in her class to take Humphrey home for weekends.

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!