Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Sorrells, Walter. 2008. Erratum. New York: Dutton.

er·ra·tum (-rätm, -r-) KEY NOUN: pl. er·ra·ta (-t) KEY
An error in printing or writing, especially such an error noted in a list of corrections and bound into a book.

When Jessica Sternhagen finds a book titled, Her Lif, inexplicable things begin to happen. For starters, the book ends with her death!

Page 621

"Mr. Queeg began to drag her lifeless body through the shop, for heaven only knows what terrible purpose. Dead at twelve, Jessica's lif had been an utter and complete waste. THE END"

But when Jessica turns to run and escapes Mr. Queeg, a piece of paper suddenly appears in the book.

"Had that been there before? She pulled out the paper. It said:


Page 621, beginning, "...heard the boards squeak..." was incorrectly printed. The correct text should read...

And there it was, a complete description of her fight with Mrs. Rosewood and Mr. Queeg. At the end of the slip of paper, it said, 'The Publisher deeply apologizes for this mistake.'"

Her Lif - can it be an erratum? Is the book really Her Life, the life of Jessica Sternhagen? What if every single choice that Jessica makes, from the color of her shirt to the direction that she walks, affects the rest of the world? Can she truly hold the fate of the universe in her hands?

Erratum is a fast-paced thriller. Each of Jessica's decisions opens an alternate chapter in the universe. There is evil afoot and the identity of the "correct" universe becomes murky after the book is lost. Jessica fights to regain possession of Her Lif and set the universe back on course.

Like the Inkheart series, Erratum pays homage to the power of the printed word, but in a more metaphysical and less fantastical manner.
A great read for grades 5-9 that will leave readers thinking. Highly recommended.

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