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.

Book Review

Winter Sky by Patricia Reilly Giff 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

Siria’s now-deceased mother named her after Sirius, the brightest star in the winter sky. Siria lives in an apartment with dad, a firefighter. Her sitter, Mimi, and friends Douglas and Laila live in the building as well. Siria has a habit of sneaking out at night when she hear sirens. She rides her bike to fires to make sure Dad is OK.

It’s the Christmas season, but Siria has a number of other things on her mind. First of all, she’s been seeing small fires pop up late at night. She fears there is an arsonist on the loose. She’s also concerned when her father is hurt at a fire and has to spend substantial time in the hospital. Mimi and Dad’s co-worker Izzy step in to make Christmas preparations.

As Siria investigates the scenes of the small fires, she finds shreds of cloth from Douglas’ green jacket. She also sees burns on his hand and hears his brother talking about him setting fire to the kitchen. Siria begins to believe her best friend is the arsonist. Laila is a sounding board as Siria comes up with theories about Douglas. The girls also talk about how they’d love to have large, close families.

Douglas tells Siria he’s going to build a star shelter on the roof so they can see her namesake star on her birthday, which is on New Year’s Day. When Siria confronts Douglas with her theories about his arson, their friendship suffers.

Siria rescues a mutt from one of the arson sites and begs Dad to let her keep him. She names him Major. Dad comes home from the hospital just before Christmas. Izzy reveals she’s always known about Siria’s fire-chasing exploits. Izzy has looked out for the girl at each fire and kept her presence a secret.

Siria realizes she’s jumped to conclusions about Douglas. She apologizes, and she and Douglas make up. He agrees to help Siria catch the arsonist. Siria goes out alone one night with Major in search of a neighborhood boy they suspect. The boy points her to a runaway teen named Mike. Mike admits to having set the fires and wearing Douglas’ discarded jacket because he was cold. He had left home and was living on the streets. He tells Siria he’s going back home to his family very soon. Major had been his dog, and he asks Siria to keep him safe. Siria wishes Mike well.

Christmas and Siria’s birthday are times of celebration which include Dad, Mimi, Izzy, Douglas, Laila and Major. Siria feels she’s finally gotten many people to treat her like family, as she always wanted. She finally tells Dad all about her fire-chasing. He gets her a phone so that he can text her after each fire to tell her he’s OK.

Christian Beliefs


Other Belief Systems

Siria’s mother gave her a book about stars. Siria often reads about the Native American legends and mythology used to explain the creation of the stars.

Authority Roles

Siria’s mom died when Siria was little. She remembers Mom telling her to look out for her pop. Dad is a brave firefighter whose friends at the station embrace Siria as one of their own. Mimi, the kind sitter, frequently dozes on the job. Siria often sneaks out of the apartment without Mimi knowing. Dad’s co-worker Izzy knows Siria is sneaking out to the fires. She always watches to make sure Siria is safe. Her own father was a firefighter, so she understands Siria’s worries.





Discussion Topics

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

Additional Comments/Notes

Lying/Sneaking: Siria often sneaks out of her apartment. She frequently does this late at night. She lies to adults about what she’s doing. In the end, she tells her father everything and stops sneaking around.

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

8 to 12


Patricia Reilly Giff






Record Label



Wendy Lamb Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Book, a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company


On Video

Year Published