When Haven Kimmel was born in 1965 in Mooreland, Indiana, it was a sleepy little hamlet of three hundred people. Nicknamed "Zippy" for the way she would bolt around the house, this small girl was possessed of big eyes and even bigger ears. In this witty and lovingly told memoir, Kimmel takes readers back to a time when small-town America was caught in the amber of the innocent postwar period--people helped their neighbors, went to church on Sunday, and kept barnyard animals in their backyards.
To three-year-old Zippy, it made perfect sense to strike a bargain with her father to keep her baby bottle--never mind that when she did, it was the first time she'd ever spoken. In her nonplussed family, Zippy has the perfect supporting cast: her beautiful yet dour brother, Danny, a seeker of the true faith; her sweetly sensible sister, Lindy, who wins the local beauty pageant; her mother, Delonda, who dispenses wisdom from the corner of the couch; and her father, Bob Jarvis, who never met a bet he didn't like.
Whether describing a serious case of chicken love, another episode with the evil Edythe across the street, or the night Zippy's dad borrowed thirty-six coon dogs and a raccoon to prove to the complaining neighbors just how quiet his two dogs were, Kimmel treats readers to a heroine who is wonderfully sweet and shy as she navigates the quirky adult world surrounding Zippy.
Lawrence Naumoff, author of Rootie Kazootie and Silk Hope, NC
The prose in this book is lovely and wise and witty and sings as beautifully as Somewhere Over the Rainbow, but it seems to be have been written by Dorothy's wild and irreverent sister, the one you never saw in the movie, the one who locked Dorothy outside when the tornado was coming, sold Toto, set fire to the scarecrow, ate the flying monkeys for lunch, and painted all the blacktop roads in Mooreland, Indiana, the colors of the rainbow, the colors of imagination and heart and laughter.
Kaye Gibbons, author of Ellen Foster and A Virtuous Woman
Phenomenal. This is just perfectly written and right on target and she doesn't miss a beat.
Lee Smith, author of Oral History and Family Line
Here is a rarity a completely original book, narrated in the freshest, most compelling child's narrative voice since Ellen Foster. Often hysterically funny, sometimes wrenching, A Girl Named Zippy is filled with revelations. Haven Kimmel has penned a lovely poem to her heartland hometown.
Martin Clark, author of The Many Aspects of Mobile Home Living
A Girl Named Zippy is sly, evocative, gentle, wry and dead-on funny. Haven Kimmel is perfect on the details and spins graceful stories that sink in and stay with you for a good long time. This is, simply put, a masterful piece of writing--imagine pouring a highball, settling into a comfortable seat, and being entertained on a summer porch by a charming old friend.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Girl Anachronism Unsettling I have heard nothing but praise for this book, but to be honest, I found it deeply unsettling. Haven Kimmel relates the odd and often unfortunate details of her life with such offhandedness, it is difficult to know how to read this story, and... Read More
Rated of 5
I'm a 16 year old girl who was pleasantly surprized by the resonace of this particular peice. I would recomend it to anyone who misses stories about the time when childhood was full of adventure and good clean pure fun.
Review (not rated)
I haven't read this book at all. I just wanted to say something, well actually, type somrthing. I was utterly suprised when I looked up the title Silverwing, and saw that they hadn't listed it here. I mean, Silverwing, by Kenneth Oppel, is one of... Read More
Rated of 5
Very funny, very touching, you could fall in love with Zippy
Rated of 5
it was very detailed. it was full of adventure. you should read it!
Rated of 5
I laughed myself stupid. What a beautiful story! Zippy describes growing up in such terms that its not baffeling anymore, like it was when I was small. I am interested in more!!!! A must read!
A memoir of culture and history of fathers and daughters, of two world wars
and the passionate rebellions of the sixties. It is also about the mythology of
place and the evolution of a sensibility: and about how literature can shape and
even anticipate a life.
Research shows that 90% of Americans value public libraries(Dec 11 2013) According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, about 90% of Americans aged 16 and older said that the closing of their local public library would have an...