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

Sisters by Raina Telgemeier 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

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

This graphic novel memoir opens with Raina, her parents and her younger siblings, Amara and Will, planning a road trip to a family reunion in the late 1980s. Mom will drive the kids, and Dad will fly out to join them. Raina’s family lives in a small apartment, and Raina seems to do nothing but fight with the sister she once longed for so desperately. The main story chronicles their road trip from California to Colorado, while frequent flashbacks tell the story of the family’s history.

Present-day Raina tries to make time pass quickly on the drive by listening to music on her Walkman. The road trip feels long, with a car breakdown, nightly camping, storms, bug attacks and too many meals consisting of mashed potatoes and Cup O’ Noodles.

When they arrive in Colorado, Raina discovers her much-admired cousin, Lindsay, has outgrown her and thinks she’s a geek. Younger cousins run wild. Adults fight about politics and parenting, and Raina doesn’t feel she belongs anywhere. She tries to get Amara to draw with her, but even Amara feels she’s being used since Raina can’t find anyone else to hang out with.

Flashbacks show young Raina as an only child, begging her parents for a sister. When she gets one, she realizes having to share a room and put up with annoying behavior isn’t so great. The girls decide they want pets, but they kill off several fish and a lizard before their parents decide to have another child. This time they get a little brother.

Now there are three kids in one room, and the crying baby leaves everyone sleep-deprived. Dad loses his job, which puts additional strain on the family. Amara learns Raina has a horrible fear of snakes. She decides she wants one for a pet. Mom and Dad later comply. They also give Raina something she really wants, a room of her own. That leaves Mom and Dad sleeping on the hide-a-bed in the living room. Amara’s snake escapes in their van, and Raina refuses to ride in it. Dad gets a new job.

As Raina, Mom, Amara and Will drive home from Colorado, the car breaks down. Mom and Will ride into town with a stranger to get help. The girls wait for four hours in a hot van, wondering if Mom is OK. Mom and Will finally return, and Mom regrets having left the girls alone.

During this trip, Mom also tells the kids Dad didn’t really fly to Colorado just because of work. She admits the two of them agreed to spend a little time apart this summer. The girls wonder whether their parents plan to split up. Amara makes a kind gesture of giving her last batteries to Raina so she can listen to her Walkman. Raina is touched and decides to take off her headphones so the whole group can talk and enjoy the rest of the trip together.

Christian Beliefs

Mom and Dad name their son Will because they say he’s here by the Will of God. Amara responds to that comment by pretending to throw up.

Other Belief Systems

When the family is trapped in a crummy cabin in a rainstorm, Amara suggests the area code they’re in is 666. Amara draws pictures for all of her cousins, depicting them as their spirit animals.

Authority Roles

Mom and Dad are loving and understanding toward the kids. Mom subtly makes some disparaging comments about Dad before the kids learn they are having marital issues.

Profanity/Violence

Heck appears once.

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

None

Discussion Topics

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

Additional Comments/Notes

Lying: Raina lies and tells her sister she doesn’t have colored pencils because she doesn’t want to share them with Amara.

This story is based on the author’s life.

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

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

8 to 13

Author

Raina Telgemeier

Cast

Director

Distributor

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

Graphix, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.

Released

On Video

Year Published

2014

Awards

Eisner Award, 2015

Reviewer

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!