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 you enjoyed this content. Be sure to share it with family and friends you think will enjoy it as well.

Book Review

This sports story by Mike Lupica is part of the "Comeback Kids" series published by Philomel Books, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group in association with Walden Media, L.L.C.

Shoot-Out is written for kids ages 8 to 12 years. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.

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

Jake Stuart doesn't mind moving to a suburb of his old hometown. He finds a new friend, Quinn, and he hangs out at the local library. What he does mind is his new soccer team. They stink. He's used to being a good player on a good team. Now he's the star player of a losing team.

Coach Lord encourages Jake to be a leader. He also urges the boy to come alongside a teammate named Kevin who has just lost his mother. Jake is repeatedly frustrated by rude replies when he tries to help or talk to Kevin. The team continues to flounder, and Jake feels he's losing his love for the game.

Quinn notices Jake's loss of passion for soccer and encourages him to work on his attitude. Jake tries harder to be positive even when plays aren't going the way he expects. Kevin sees Jake and his mother horsing around and recognizes that Jake is as close to his mom as Kevin was to his. Kevin finally allows Jake to become his friend, and the grieving boy begins to make more effort on the soccer field.

Despite a poor season, Jake is energized when his team has a chance to play his old school. His former teammates razz him, thinking there's no way Jake's team can win. An impassioned game ensues, and Jake offers the final, game-breaking kick to Kevin. Despite his nervousness, Kevin wins the game. He, Jake and the team revel in that moment of victory.

Christian Beliefs

Jake and his parents go to church on Sundays.

Other Belief Systems

Jake wonders if they'll need the kind of luck possessed by Powerball lottery winners to defeat another soccer team during the season.

Authority Roles

Jake's parents are both funny and supportive, but his mom is his best friend. A former college soccer star, she taught Jake to play the game. She gives him pep talks and makes him laugh when he wants to wallow in self-pity. Kevin's mother was also his best friend. She was a writer who inspired Kevin to love reading. Jake's soccer coach urges him to take Kevin under his wing.


Butt and heck appear once or twice.



Discussion Topics

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

Additional Comments/Notes

Book reviews cover the content, themes and world-views of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. A book's inclusion does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

You can request a review of a title you can't find at reviewrequests@family.org.

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range

8 to 12




Mike Lupica






Record Label



Philomel Books, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group in association with Walden Media, L.L.C.



Year Published




We hope you enjoyed this content. Be sure to share it with family and friends you think will enjoy it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!