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

Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson 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

When the headmaster of St. Norbert's Home for Wayward Boys puts Peter and his mates on board a ship called the Never Land, the orphans expect bad food, seasickness and hard labor. They never anticipate meeting Molly, a young Starcatcher, or battling pirates in an effort to protect the magical "starstuff" from the wrong people. A vicious, foul-smelling pirate called Black Stache, his crew of savages and a greedy ship's captain all vie for a trunk filled with the powerful starstuff.

Meanwhile, Peter helps Molly and her father retrieve the trunk, with the aid of porpoise Starcatchers, mermaids and a flying crocodile named Mr. Grin. This Peter Pan prequel explains how Peter's contact with too much starstuff changes his life forever.

Christian Beliefs

When Molly's father says he prays that no ship can catch them, the captain says, "Praying will no doubt help . . . but so will good seamanship." After Alf (a sailor) saves Peter and his friends, they cheer in gratitude "to Alf and to the Almighty, in that order."

Other Belief Systems

Starstuff — the material from some shooting stars — gives magical (often transforming) power to the people or animals who touch it. The power generally corrupts a person's character: Molly mentions the gods of Greek mythology and Attila the Hun as examples. Thus a secret group of Starcatchers, of which Molly and her father are part, must stop evil people known as The Others from misusing the starstuff.

Molly indicates that the war between Starcatchers and The Others is not only being fought on earth. Looking to the heavens, she says there are other "forces out there." After the starstuff turns fish into mermaids, the head mermaid repeatedly refers to it as the "Creator," and she is able to speak telepathically to Peter. Using starstuff, Molly's father turns a bird into a fairy that will take care of Peter.

Authority Roles

Most of the book's grown-ups — including Captains Slank and Stache, Molly's governess (Mrs. Bumbrake) and the headmaster of St. Norbert's — disdain children and treat them with disrespect and cruelty. Slank and Stache, both selfish treasure-hunters, are equally heartless to their crewmen, whom they consider expendable. Molly's father aims to teach his daughter the family trade of Starcatching, but he also attempts to protect her by putting her on a ship he considers safer than his own. As leader of the group of boys, Peter looks out for his mates and refuses to abandon them when they've been captured. There's mention of pirates drinking rum.


D---n" is used twice. Many action-packed battles take place, often involving bloodshed.


Peter overhears giggling, squealing and thumping noises made by Mr. Slank and Mrs. Bumbrake that suggest they may be doing something inappropriate. The sails of Stache's ship, known as The Ladies, are shaped like a giant "brassiere" (the book's sketch of the sails resembles a corset). After Peter saves the head mermaid, she kisses him.

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



Readability Age Range

10 and up




Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson






Record Label



Hyperion Paperbacks for Children, Disney Editions


On Video

Year Published



The New York Times Best Seller List, 2004; Chicago Public Library Best of the Best, 2004; Publishers Weekly Children's Best Seller, October 2004


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!