From School Library Journal
Grade 4–8—An erratum is a writer or publisher's error in printing, or an error list with corrections. In this story, the erratum is in the universe, and it is up to Jessica Sternhagen, age 10, and her friend Dale to make the corrections. When Jessica gets a copy of a book with a misprint in the title, Her Lif
, she discovers that the book is all about her actual life. Its words change as she makes choices, and she proves to be a smart and courageous heroine as she faces danger and evil at every turn. Dale lives with his dysfunctional family in poverty, and Jessica lives in a nice house with her supportive parents. They have often wondered if they were born into the wrong family because they never felt that they belonged. Now it turns out that they were right, because in the process of saving the universe and stopping the evil alternate world from taking over, they discover that Jessica really belongs in the unhappy family on the wrong side of the tracks, and Dale is the one with the father who plays catch with his son and whose mother bakes cookies. Jessica must make the ultimate choice to stay with her "right" but unhappy family in this story in which Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
meets The Giver
, and choices do indeed have consequences.—Jake Pettit, Thompson Valley High School Library, Loveland, CO
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Always a reader, seventh-grader Jessica Sternhagen is intrigued by an old bookshop that appears in her small Minnesota town. There, she is given a curious book about herself that keeps changing. Our world, she learns, has alternate histories; her role is to keep it on the one true, correct path. She is, in fact, the guardian of the universe. But before she can save our world from disappearing, she and her best friend, Dale, have to make serious choices about which lives they want to live. This fast-paced science-fiction story involves theories about time, string theory, and dark energy as well as difficult questions about friendship and compassion. It also features the largest public library in the world, a scary dog named Cerberus, and a suspicious vacuum-cleaner salesman who wants to do away with books altogether. The suspense is handled so well that readers caught up in the action will not mind that characters are not particularly well developed, the science is somewhat muddled, and loose ends dangle from the plot. Grades 5-8. --Kathleen Isaacs