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

This book has been reviewed by Focus on the Family Thriving Family, a 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

Eight-year-old Princess Irene lives in a society of sun dwellers (those who live above the ground) and goblins (those who live underground). Although they are all people, those who live underground have evolved into hideous looking individuals because of the lack of sun. The goblins sleep during the day and only come out at night. Because of this, sun dwellers make sure their doors are locked and they are safely inside by night.

After Princess Irene meets her great-great-great grandmother (called her grandmother), she learns that few others can see her relative and most don’t believe she’s real even when looking at her. Princess Irene meets a 12-year-old miner named Curdie, when he rescues her from goblins after Irene and her nurse stay out on the mountain after dark.

Princess Irene returns the favor and rescues Curdie after he is captured by goblins by following an almost invisible thread her grandmother made for her. Yet when Irene tries to introduce Curdie to her grandmother, Curdie cannot see her. When Curdie’s parents talk to him about the incident, he feels ashamed and realizes that even if he can’t see something, it doesn’t mean someone else can’t see it.

In time, Curdie figures out that the goblins intend to kidnap Irene and force her to marry their goblin prince. Unable to warn Irene of the impending danger, Curdie, with the help of Irene’s grandmother, defeats the attacking hordes and finds Irene safe in his mother’s arms. He no longer doubts Irene’s stories.

Christian Beliefs

Although not overt, Christian principles are throughout this book. For example, the invisible thread that Irene’s grandmother gives Irene helps her to walk forward in confidence at her grandmother’s bidding. This is akin to the way the Holy Spirit asks us to trust His direction as we move forward in each aspect of our lives. Also, Irene’s grandmother allows herself to be seen only by those who have a strong enough faith to believe that she does exist. Many spiritual applications on topics such as faith, lack of faith and belief are laced throughout the story.

Other Belief Systems

Irene’s nurse believes only in what she can see, but that is not perceived as the correct way to live life. The goblins believe in promoting themselves and getting back the respect they feel they deserve from others, by force if necessary. The weaker they are, the stronger they think they are; they also feel that everyone is inferior to them. The author lets the reader see that this materialistic way of thinking about life is not the best way to live life.

Authority Roles

The king is a wise and knowing father and ruler. He spends his time in defense of his people because he loves them and his daughter. He knows about Irene’s grandmother and believes in her. Irene’s nurse, Lootie, loves the princess, but she does not believe Irene’s stories. Lootie is guided only by what she can see. Eventually, Irene must confront Lootie about this and threaten to tell her father. The gentlemen-at-arms are fully devoted to the king and are thus completely devoted to the princess. They live their lives to serve the royal family.


The mother goblin stomps her child’s foot as a discipline measure, which causes the child to scream. In fights with the goblins, Curdie learns that their feet are soft, but the rest of their bodies are too strong to hurt them. Goblins attack and scare people, and Curdie battles them with rhymes and by stomping their feet. The goblins plan to murder the miners by flooding the mine. The gentlemen-at-arms shoot Curdie in the leg with an arrow when they think he is one of the goblins’ pets.


Princess Irene gives Curdie a kiss in thanks for his protection and bravery. The kiss is innocent and watched by her father.

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

11 and up


George MacDonald






Record Label



Strahan & Co


On Video

Year Published





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!