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 this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Book Review

The Ring of Rocamadour by Michael D. Beil has been reviewed by Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine. It is the first book in "The Red Blazer Girls" series.

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

Sophie, her best friends Margaret and Rebecca, and the new girl, Leigh Ann, are excited to don their red blazers — a sign that they're now freshmen at St. Veronica's, a school for girls. Their lives consist primarily of intensive study, baby-sitting siblings and pursuing their art and music hobbies, until an elderly woman (Ms. Harriman) enlists their help to solve a mystery. By following a series of clues involving complex math problems, puzzles and questions from literature and the Bible, the girls learn that a valuable artifact — a ring supposedly touched by St. Veronica — is buried in the church next to their school. Several individuals, including Ms. Harriman's ex-husband, her maid and a man working at the church, arouse the girls' suspicion when they seem overly curious about the case. The girls solve the case, retrieve the ring and return the jewelry to its rightful owner. In the process, Sophie learns how to better handle relationships with her friends and Raf, the boy she likes.

Christian Beliefs

The girls believe Veronica (their school's namesake) is the name of a woman in the Bible, although the name itself is not mentioned. In Catholicism, Veronica wipes Jesus' face with a cloth as He carries the Cross. Supposedly, His image is imprinted on her veil, and the fabric then has divine powers. While wandering through the church, Sophie and her friends make fart jokes from the Monty Python movie The Holy Grail. Sophie says she's such a good girl that she actually embellishes her confessions to make them seem more penance-worthy. Raf teases Margaret about having a Bible in her backpack, and she quickly assures him that it's because she has religion homework.

Ms. Harriman's father (who planted the clues about the ring) was a leading authority on second- and third-century Christianity. One of his clues leads the girls to Luke 23:24 and a painting depicting Pilate sentencing Christ. Sophie thinks, "Lord, forgive me," for dozing off in religion class. When the girls have a sleepover the night they retrieve the ring, they feel some force (perhaps St. Veronica) has compelled each of them to wake up in the night and put the ring on the finger of one of the other girls so that they can each wish for a miracle.

Other Belief Systems

Mrs. Harriman suggests that her cat may be psychic, possibly the reincarnation of her great aunt. She believes karma brought her and the girls together. Margaret pretends to meditate, turning her palms up and chanting, "ohm." Sophie sees a man sneaking out of the church, and she believes it is an ominous sign. Another time, she sees artwork in the church bearing her last name (St. Pierre) and wonders if it is a good omen. The girls say on several occasions that they're going to cross their fingers for luck.

Authority Roles

Sophie's parents work a lot and are frequently away from the house. They do attend her school play, and the family enjoys movie nights together. Mr. Eliot, the girls' English teacher, is a kind, enthusiastic man, who tries to instill a love of literature by hosting an annual skit night where students perform scenes from Dickens' novels. He helps the girls find some of the information they need to solve their case and urges them to be safe and smart while snooping around. He lies to a priest about why he and the girls are in the church.

Mr. and Ms. Harriman encourage Sophie and her friends to hone their talents by introducing them to people who can help them improve their skills. When Rebecca fears she'll have to drop out of St. Veronica's because her mother has lost her job, they help her mom get another one. The priests at St. Veronica's, including Fathers Julian and Danahey, show patience and respect for the girls by allowing them to continue their investigation in the church and trusting their motives.


Sophie and her friends use the Lord's name in vain numerous times. They mainly use God's name in versions of Oh my ---, but readers also see phrases like Oh good ---, I wish to ---, --- knows what, etc. D---n and crap also appear frequently in their dialogue. At one point, a priest says holy crap. Less frequent uses of words such as butt, heck, gosh, jeez, bite me and fart can also be found. Rebecca blatantly swears in front of her younger siblings. The girls mock their nemesis, Mr. Winterbottom, behind his back by calling him names, such as "Winterbutt" and "Winterbooty." They also laugh about a word in one of their clues that sounds like ovaries. The girls chat with their teacher's doorman about how much they enjoy gory, "dead teenager" movies like Halloween and Friday the 13th.


Sophie recalls a time when her parents embarrassed Margaret by talking about their first sexual experiences. Raf puts his hands on Sophie's hips in an attempt to demonstrate some of the overly sexy moves kids were trying at a recent school dance. At the end of the book, Raf kisses Sophie once. The church security guard, Robert, is always reading women's magazines like Cosmopolitan and Glamour.

Discussion Topics

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

Additional Comments/Notes

Lying: The girls lie to their parents and other adults quite a bit. Sophie says she generally tries not to "out-and-out lie" to her mother because she doesn't feel the need, in light of her relatively good behavior. If she were going to nightclubs, getting tattoos or becoming a Wiccan, she could understand her mother's concern.

Trespassing: The girls break into St. Veronica's Church and admittedly use peer pressure to get the hesitant Rebecca to join them. They also use a hairpin to open a locked door inside the church.

Smoking: Several characters, such as Sophie's dad and Raf (when in sixth grade), used to smoke. Sophie's dad stops because his wife is pregnant, and Raf stops because his mother catches and threatens him. Ms. Harriman's maid (Winefred) smokes, and her partner in crime, Mr. Winterbottom, smokes so much the girls call him an ashtray with legs.

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




Michael D. Beil






Record Label



Knopf Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children's Books


On Video

Year Published



Booklist Top 10 Crime Fiction for Youth, 2009


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!