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

Pedro’s Journal by Pam Conrad 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

In August of 1492, explorer Christopher Columbus plans to discover a westward route to Asia. He chooses young Pedro de Salcedo to be a cabin boy on the Santa María since Pedro can read and write. Pedro chronicles the long days that follow on their six-month voyage. He is also responsible for leading the men in morning prayers and always asks God for aid on the voyage.

A broken rudder on the Pinta waylays the voyage for several days in the Canary Islands before the ship enters uncharted seas. The sailors grow restless when, after many days, land is nowhere to be found. Columbus tries to calm the anxious men by promising a large reward to the first one who spots land. Several false alarms only make the crew more upset.

While the journey is hard, Pedro enjoys friendship with some of the crewmembers. One even lets Pedro steer the ship some nights when no one is looking so the man can take catnaps. Each day, the men grow more insistent about turning around for home.

Finally, Columbus spots land in the distance, and eventually they set foot on dry ground. They meet friendly natives who think the men are angels from God, and Columbus allows them to believe it. As the voyage continues around the coast of San Salvador, Columbus drives his crew too hard, even as he names every piece of land.

When Columbus sees the natives wearing gold jewelry imprinted with Japanese writing, he’s sure they must be near Japan. Pedro writes of his discomfort at the barely-clothed natives, their worship of the sailors and especially Columbus’ decision to take some of the natives back to Spain as servants.

One day in late November, the Pinta disappears. Columbus continues to lead the remaining two ships to various islands. The natives seem less and less friendly, and Columbus arrogantly demonstrates his crossbow to inspire fear.

On Christmas night, many crewmembers drink wine to celebrate and are lulled to sleep. Pedro steers the ship for a sleeping crewman but crashes into a reef. The Santa María sinks, and the crew and captives are forced to crowd onto the Niña. Everyone is angry with Pedro.

A distraught Columbus is prepared to return home, until a native chief gives him directions to a place where abundant gold may be found. The captain says this stroke of luck was the predestined will of God. He decides to leave 39 men in a settlement near the wrecked ship and pursue the promised wealth.

In January, natives direct Columbus to the lost Pinta. Its captain, Martín Alonso, is apologetic, but Columbus is certain the man is trying to beat him back to Spain to steal his impending power and fame. After finding gold, the two badly leaking ships leave supplies at the settlement and head back to Spain.

Horrible storms rock the ships, and the Pinta is nowhere to be found. Fearing they may sink, or that Alonso and the Pinta may beat them back to Spain, Columbus puts letters detailing his conquests in a sealed barrel and throws them in the sea. The barrel includes Pedro’s journal.

Pedro writes he believes God has forgotten them, and he asks the reader of his journal to tell God where he is. An endnote indicates that Pedro did make it home safely and never went to sea again.

Christian Beliefs

Pedro leads the crew in morning prayers each day and reminds them to pray for protection on the voyage. Whenever Columbus is concerned about the trip, the explorer says the Rosary with a fury, as though his orders in prayer are to be carried out at once.

When the ship reaches land, Columbus drops to his knees in a prayer of thanksgiving. Pedro says that on each new island, Columbus names the places, similar to Adam naming the animals in the Bible.

Amid horrible storms, Pedro writes that God has forgotten them. He hopes that his words, sealed with Columbus’ letters, will make it home. He asks whoever should find them to tell God where he is.

Other Belief Systems

The men see a falling star and believe it’s a bad omen. Columbus then tells many stories about meteorites he’s seen during his explorations and how they have brought blessing and good fortune.

Authority Roles

Columbus is an arrogant leader, whom some crewmen believe to be mad. He frequently lies or omits information to make himself and his decisions seem more acceptable. He hungers for power, wealth and fame with little concern for the well-being of others. Pedro often thinks of his mother when he’s in desperate situations. He shudders at how she would respond to some of Columbus’ immoral actions, such as kidnapping natives.

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

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

8 to 12

Author

Pam Conrad

Cast

Director

Distributor

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

Caroline House, an imprint of Boyd Mills Press Inc.

Released

On Video

Year Published

1991

Awards

Unknown

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!