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These pages report, but don’t endorse or recommend, what’s hot with preteens.

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the task of staying up-to-date on all the latest preteen media trends. That’s where our Keeping Current section saves the day.

What is “Keeping Current”?

In each issue of Children’s Ministry Magazine, we provide a quick overview, as well as our take, on the latest media trends for 10- to 12-year-olds. You’ll find reviews on music, games, apps and websites, books, television shows, and movies.

Want to look up past media reviews? Search through our archive, or search by category for even more reviews:

Lastly, we provide easy-to-share videos summarizing each issue’s media reviews. Keeping Current is a perfect way to help parents stay up-to-date on what their preteens might be exposed to.

The movie poster for playing with fire.
Movie

Playing with Fire

The Scoop

Playing With Fire is a Nickelodeon Movies original comedy about a group of elite firefighters who attempt to rescue three kids from a fire and get them safely back to their parents. Along the way, the firefighters find kids are more difficult to wrangle than a fire.

Our Take on Playing with Fire

The Home Alone-like humor and mishaps in this movie will give preteens big laughs. And as is true of many kids’ comedies these days, viewers can expect some potty humor and other themes that ride the line when it comes to being kid-appropriate. Overall, it should be an okay option for preteens, but we recommend you watch it with your kids.

Make sure to check out all of our previous movie reviews! Looking for more reviews on media often consumed by preteens? Check out our reviews for TVmusicgames, books, and apps/websites.

For more Keeping Current reviews in every issue, subscribe today to Children’s Ministry Magazine! Looking for more information about preteens? Check out all our preteen posts for teaching tips, lessons, ideas, and insight into the mind of a preteen. Trust us, you won’t want to miss all this good information!

The Netflix poster for No Good Nick.
TV

No Good Nick

The Scoop

This Netflix Original series follows a teenage girl named Nick who cons a family into thinking she’s a long-lost relative with no living parents. And her con is multi-faceted. She has real foster parents, and together the three plan to rob the family. But that’s not all; her real father is in jail, and unbeknownst to the foster parents, Nick and her dad picked this specific family for a reason.

Our Take on No Good Nick

Rated PG, No Good Nick includes some substance use by parents, profanity, and mild sex- uality. While it may technically be kid-appropriate and nothing more than a silly comedy, the plot is a bit dark and sinister. We suggest parents preview it and consider the content before kids watch this show.

Make sure to check out all of our previous TV reviews! Looking for more reviews on media often consumed by preteens? Check out our reviews for moviesmusicgames, books, and apps/websites.

For more Keeping Current reviews in every issue, subscribe today to Children’s Ministry Magazine! Looking for more information about preteens? Check out all our preteen posts for teaching tips, lessons, ideas, and insight into the mind of a preteen.

The book cover of Five Feet Apart.
Book

Five Feet Apart

The Scoop

Five Feet Apart, a popular New York Times best-seller and contemporary romance for kids ages 12 and up. follows the lives of two teenagers with cystic fibrosis in a hospital. Because of their health issues, they must stay at least five feet apart, but that becomes difficult when they begin to connect and have feelings for each other.

Our Take on Five Feet Apart

Five Feet Apart offers preteens an opportunity to learn about and process how serious illnesses can impact kids and their families. It contains some flirting in scenes, some basic discussion of sex, and a few bad words, but it doesn’t include drinking, drugs, or smoking. This book is probably too mature for younger preteens, and we suggest leaders or parents preview it before older preteens read it.

Make sure to check out all of our previous book reviews! Looking for more reviews on media often consumed by preteens? Check out our reviews for moviesmusicTVgames, and apps/websites.

For even more Keeping Current reviews of preteen media trends in every issue, subscribe today to Children’s Ministry Magazine!

Zepeto app screen.
App/Website

Zepeto

The Scoop

With Zepeto, users can create their own avatars and then interact with friends’ avatars as they would on other social media platforms. To create avatars, users take a selfie, which the app uses to make an animated version of the user. Users can use game coins they either earn or buy with real money to purchase different outfits and add decorations to their images. Additionally, users can send text messages to each other through Zepeto.

Our Take on Zepeto

While Zepeto can be fun for kids, there are some concerning features. First, the app promotes consumerism by consistently encouraging users to purchase more clothes or decorations. Parents beware. Although it is possible for parents to monitor the app Zepteo, the texting feature allows strangers to text users.

Make sure to check out all of our previous apps/websites. Looking for more reviews on media often consumed by preteens? Check out our reviews for moviesTVgames, books, and music.

For more Keeping Current reviews in every issue, subscribe today to Children’s Ministry Magazine! Looking for more information about preteens? Check out all our preteen posts for teaching tips, lessons, ideas, and insight into the mind of a preteen.

Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield game covers.
Game

Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield

The Scoop

Nintendo releases its animated games, Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, on November 15. New characters called Galarian join Pokémon, while new rivals mean players face different challenges and battle mechanics. Players will explore a new world and unravel a mystery as they battle enemies and trade Pokémon.

Our Take on Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield

Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, exclusive to Nintendo Switch, received an E for everyone rating, but the rating calls out mild cartoon violence and comic mischief. Unlike many video games, Pokémon is aimed toward children and therefore generally kid-appropriate. Depending on kids’ sensitivity to cartoon violence, you may suggest parents review games before kids play.

Make sure to check out all of our previous Game Reviews! Looking for more reviews on media often consumed by preteens? Check out our reviews for current movies, preteen driven music, popular TV shows, top-selling books, and popular apps/websites.

For more Keeping Current reviews in every issue, subscribe today to Children’s Ministry Magazine! Looking for more information about preteens? Check out all our preteen posts for teaching tips, lessons, ideas, and insight into the mind of a preteen. Trust us, you won’t want to miss all this good information!

An image of Blanco Brown with his hands up, partially blocking his face.
Music

Blanco Brown

The Scoop

As the inspiration for the #GitUpChallenge, Blanco Brown caused droves of people, including kids, to record and post their dancing skills on apps and websites such as TikTok and YouTube. While square dancing to “The Git Up” in his music video, he calls out dance moves for listeners to do. Although a relatively unknown artist, his country song hit the Billboard Hot 100 over the summer with millions of streams.

Our Take on Blanco Brown

Blanco Brown’s lyrics to “The Git Up” are clean, as they only name basic dance steps, but in the #GitUpChallenge videos, people’s interpretations of dance moves vary from silly to sexy, and people’s clothing choices vary just as much. Although this popular song may draw in kids some of Blanco Brown’s other music is explicit. These songs include topics that aren’t kid-appropriate, such as drinking.

Make sure to check out all of our previous music reviews! Looking for more reviews on media often consumed by preteens? Check out our reviews for movies, gamesTVbooks, and apps/websites.

For more Keeping Current reviews in every issue, subscribe today to Children’s Ministry Magazine! Looking for more information about preteens? Check out all our preteen posts for teaching tips, lessons, ideas, and insight into the mind of a preteen.

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