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

The Call by Michael Grant has been reviewed by Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine. It is the first book in the “Magnificent 12” series.

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

Twelve-year-old David “Mack” MacAvoy is afraid of almost everything, and he can’t seem to avoid the bullies at Richard Gere Middle School. When he saves the life of the head bully, Stefan, he gains a friend and protector. But on the same day, a strange, stinky old man in a black robe named Grimluk appears to the boys and changes their lives.

Periodic chapters return the reader to “a really, really long time ago” and tell the story of a 12-year-old boy named Grimluk. Grimluk had a wife, a nameless son and two cows when he began to flee the Pale Queen. Grimluk was chosen as a member of a group called the Magnifica, which was charged with capturing the Pale Queen and her daughter. The Magnifica managed to trap the queen underground for several thousand years, but her daughter, Ereskigal (Risky), continues to cause trouble for the world, even in Mack’s time.

Back in present day, Grimluk says Mack is one of the modern-day Magnifica and has been chosen to round up the other 11 kids his age who can help subdue the queen and princess indefinitely. A man in a green suit follows Mack, and a living replica of Mack, made of dirt, shows up in Mack’s room. The replica is called a golem. Mack learns the golem will serve as a placeholder for him while he’s off on his mission.

A woman named Rose arrives in a limo and rescues Mack and Stefan from Risky’s giant grasshoppers. Rose gives the boys new passports with new names, iPhones and a credit card with a balance of $1 million for incidentals. Then she puts them on a plane to Australia to find another Magnifica member.

Risky and her creatures attack Mack and Stefan’s plane in the air over the ocean, and the boys are sucked from the cabin. As they’re falling, Mack utters one of the strange phrases he heard Grimluk say. He and Stefan are suspended in midair for a period of time, discussing their next move.

This stop slowed them down enough to hit the water without injury. They swim to a boat, driven by a journalist named Peter Major. His daughter, Jarrah, also on the boat, is the girl Mack and Stefan are supposed to find.

Jarrah and her archaeologist mother, Karri, take Mack and Stefan to a dig on a massive rock. Inside are cave drawings that appear to have been made thousands of years earlier and tell the future. The four are captured by elves. To escape, they flee into the recesses of the cave.

Risky appears and threatens them. They escape through a tunnel and get back to Karri’s car. As they’re driving off, a storm blows in that sends outback animals flying through the air. The car wrecks, and Karri is hurt. Risky moves close to Mack, magically pulling him into a kiss of death. At the last moment, he uses a spell to set Risky on fire. She becomes a pillar of smoke and disappears. They know she isn’t gone for good.

Mack, Stefan and Jarrah fly to China to locate their next teammate. Periodically, Mack receives humorous messages from his golem relaying the ways the golem’s well-intentioned but weird behavior is off-putting to the school administrators and Mack’s parents.

Christian Beliefs

None

Other Belief Systems

Jarrah and her mother are convinced the cave markings they’ve found predict the future. Mack learns to use spells in the Vargran tongue. The queen and princess have shapeshifting abilities. The forest is full of werewolves, spirits, gnomes and elves. Grimluk and his wife carry the clay family goddess Gordia when they flee, along with other prized possessions.

Authority Roles

Mack’s parents made him talk to school counselors, shrinks and ministers. When they couldn’t figure out how to help him, they learned to steer around him and stopped really listening to him. Jarrah’s parents involve her in their adventures. The Pale Queen terrorizes a kingdom and has a tense relationship with her daughter.

Profanity/Violence

The words butt and OMG appear. Stefan receives an injury when he punches his fist though glass. There's a lot of blood. Jarrah slices through Risky’s neck with a shovel, but the evil princess pushes her head back into place with ease. Some of the other fleers Grimluk meets don’t have their full number of arms and legs and have horrible wounds or scars. Risky bites the head off a giant insect, and green fluid spews out as she chews it up.

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

Michael Grant

Cast

Director

Distributor

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Released

On Video

Year Published

2010

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!