A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel

A Girl Named Zippy

When Haven Kimmel was born in 1965, Mooreland, Indiana, 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,...

Details A Girl Named Zippy

TitleA Girl Named Zippy
Release DateJun 18th, 2002
PublisherBroadway Books
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Humor, Biography

Reviews A Girl Named Zippy

  • Jeff
    Well, I have to say that I grew up one of the 300 people that lived in Mooreland. I lived there from infancy until about age 12. I wasn't friends with the author (I'm 5 years younger), but I knew who she was. My brother and the author were in the same class together, and he is actually pictured in the class photo from the book (S. Jones). There are several things that I can verify that the author wrote in the book, one that really stuck with me w...
  • Tracyj
    I was really put off by the amount of animal abuse throughout the stories. No animals were spared - pets, farm animals, wild animals, animal corpses - they all got abused in Zippy's world and it was all described in a rather nonchalant matter-of-fact manner. Just when you think you're reading a story that you're safe from the horrors of an another animal meeting with cruelty at the hands of the nuts in Zippy's world, she manages to slip one in. I...
  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)
    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ I should probably leave well enough alone and not post any sort of review regarding little Zippy, but I’m not gonna. I’ve been seeing this title pop up on various lists and whatnot for YEARS now and always managed to avoid it due to the eternal question I ask myself whenever I see a memoir written by a non-famous person: “WTF was so special about you that you think everyone else ...
  • Heather
    This is one of the most enjoyable books I've ever come across. I tore through it, often laughing OUT LOUD in inopportune public places (you know, when you are reading something funny and you kind of guffaw and then catch yourself, stifle the laugh, and look around to see if anyone is watching?).It's hard to explain what it is about, because it is really just what the subtitle says: "Growing Up Small In Mooreland, Indiana." It's an autobiographica...
  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
    This is a memoir of childhood days, growing up in the 1960s and 70s in the small town of Mooreland, Indiana (pop. 300). Lots of quirky or downright eccentric characters populate the town and the pages of this book. There's no real plot here; it's pretty much a collection of small town stories and anecdotes. Some of the stories involve animal neglect or abuse, the thoughtlessly cruel kinds of things that many small town people didn't consider real...
  • Barbara
    4.5 starsThis memoir by Haven Kimmel - who was nicknamed 'Zippy' by her dad - contains wonderful stories about the author's childhood in Mooreland, Indiana. Haven was born in 1965, when Mooreland had a population of 300 and contained one main street and one four-way stop sign. The town also featured a gas station; a drugstore (with a soda fountain but no drugs); a diner; a hardware store, a verterinarian; and three churches. The highlight of Moor...
  • Jonathan
    [Ack -- 3 out of 5 stars seems so vague, as meaningless as ratings in general; 3 out of 5 is so ... Rolling Stone.]Anyway, true or false: Are male memoirists seen as witty, pithy, and insightful while female memoirists are derided as self-involved or -indulgent? Food for thought, and not just pertaining to lit. I have everything in mind from Anne Lamott vs. Donald Miller to Justin Timberlake's career arc vs. Janet Jackson's relative plummet (thin...
  • Indra
    I just reread this book and remembered how much I love it. I give it five stars even though I like the sequel, "She Got Up Off the Couch", a bit better...both are so very beautifully written. I love the narrator's clear-eyed child's view of the people around her, and the fact that this tells the story of a different world than most of us know, the mostly idyllic small town many years ago. Serious issues are hinted at, not avoided, but neither are...
  • Jennifer
    This is the book I reach for when I need a pick-me-up...a reminder that life is humorous and wonderful and that even the everyday moments are meaningful…that even the quietest, smallest life is worth living. Haven Kimmel's childhood memoir is more than a stroll down memory lane...she pieces together her life, her family, and her town until the reader sees her so clearly, you may feel convinced afterwards that you grew up with her! The writing i...
  • Ashley
    I had completely mixed feeling about this book. One minute I was laughing out loud (I loved the part when the cat falls down the chimney and gets drop-kicked out the front door by the nast old lady neighbor), because there are some awfully funny bits, and the next I was feeling very awkward and wanted to escape this girl's terrible environment. What is wierdly endearing though is how she seems to be blissfully unaware/unaffected by events any one...
  • Arminzerella
    This is an absolutely hysterical down-home kind of memoir of Haven Kimmel’s growing up years in Mooreland, Indiana. She’s goofy and strange, and full of spunk and energy. Listen to the audiobook, which is read by the author, as she really brings her own experiences to life. She’s got a childlike innocence still that resonates in this work. The scene where her dad borrows all of the hunting dogs to get back at a cranky neighbor is truly one ...
  • Rebecca McNutt
    A Girl Named Zippy is a great book, not necessarily unique in its trip down memory lane but still a vibrant and sometimes humorous look at 1960's America from the eyes of a child who lived it.
  • Suzanne
    This memoir is 30 very short chapters, stories about Haven Kimmel’s odd family and even odder townspeople in Mooreland, Indiana, in the 1970s, a book about a little girl growing up in a very small town. It had me reaching for the tissues a few times, but not because it was sad. There were some touching episodes, but the Kleenex box came in handy for the several times I laughed so hard the tears were streaming. I was thankful I was at home each ...
  • Anne-Marie
    I had one of those weekends where every book I started was a complete disappointment.This thing has been floating around my house forever and I was finally desperate enough to read it. The first chapter or so was promising. Her parents thought maybe she was "special". She is anything but.I don't know, it was kind of like she was trying to pull of some David Sedaris moves and failed miserably. I had trouble even concentrating on this thing. It was...
  • Elizabeth
    I was really, really disappointed with this book (I only read half of it). I had really liked Haven Kimmel's Something Rising Light and Swift, so I thought this would be great, adn I read all sorts of great reviews for it too! But only halfway through, her memoir mentioned SO many times about animals and pets being harmed, killed, neglected, and so on... I know that in that type of lower small-town rural environment, pets are not coddled like the...
  • Laurie
    I did not like this book so much I threw it away rather than swap or donate. During Zippy's childhood in rural America almost every chapter/event involves animals getting killed and I'm a real animal lover. I just don't think it's funny because it came across that the value placed on these animals lives is minimal. They died in fires, from neglect, etc. so there was nothing completely intentional but I could not appreciate this story.
  • Amber
    Zippy was a mottled mess of mixed up and metastasized memories. The whole time I was reading it I kept wondering why it is that I liked it. But I did like it, despite it's obvious flaws. Any book that can make me laugh out loud is worth reading. I enjoyed the author's flippant, unceremonious style of writing. Her character, Zippy, was bright and reckless, loveable and startling all at the same time. I found it interesting how well she wrote from ...
  • Desiree
    This book is guffaw-out-loud-on-the-subway-despite-the-stares funny!!!From the book..."The distance between Mooreland in 1965 and a city like San Francisco in 1965 is roughly equivalent to the distance starlight must travel before we look up casually from a cornfield and see it." (From A Girl Named Zippy, p. 2.)Haven Kimmel may be older than me but we both grew up in small towns and I found her literary musings about said life to resonate very de...
  • Tamara Bennett
    occasional cute/humorous anecdotes from kind of a 'white trash' family & their small town, but interspersed w/ an unbelievable amount of animal mistreatment & abuse descriptions. quit on page 65 after the last incident - a live rabbit stapled to a wall. could not bring myself to turn the page. was afraid of what could be next. shocked that this was recommended reading & that anyone could ever get past these incidents & not be truly bothered by th...
  • Jennifer
    Couldn't get through it. Too many stories of dead animals, maimed animals and other grotesque animal stories. Didn't strike well with the vegetarian in me...
  • Anna H
    A pure reading delight.Haven Kimmel manages to achieve two great feats with her memoir of growing up "small" in a small Hoosier town -- she captures the voice of childhood and all its contradicting, hilarious perspectives and experiences, writing a memoir that shows more than tells readers about growing up in her town in the '60s and '70s. She also writes about a lifestyle that almost doesn't exist anymore in an environment that has sadly begun t...
  • Rebecca
    (3.5) Maybe you grew up in or near a town like Mooreland, Indiana (population 300), a place full of real characters, not least the members of Kimmel’s family. Born in 1965 when her brother and sister were 13 and 10, Kimmel was affectionately referred to as an “Afterthought” and nicknamed “Zippy” for her boundless energy. Gawky and stubborn, she pulled every trick in the book to try to get out of going to Quaker meetings three times a we...
  •  Erin
    This book was pleasurable enough to read, but because it wasn't very plot driven, it took me forev-ER to complete. Zippy's narration is amusing and I enjoyed her descriptions of a more innocent time of small town Americana, when farm animals were kept in backyards, and kids could ride their bikes (complete with streamers and horns) to the corner drug store for a 26 cent lemon phosphate. But beyond that, I'm not entirely sure what she was trying t...
  • Katie
    You know that moment in life when you realize that stories of the things that loom large in childhood -- like your absolute terror of the woman who lives next door or your absolute certainty that some of the cards in a deck of playing cards are female and some male -- can be condensed, as if through a trash compactor, into little nuggets of pure cuteness and innocence that you can then hand to others for the rest of your life in one long show-and...
  • Marie
    I must say that it is refreshing to read a memoir in which the author does not grow up in a dysfunctional family or face overwhelming odds in his or her life.This is the story of a normal, small-town childhood. Zippy was an odd little creature of a child, but I found her adventures to be amusing and the descriptions of her family and neighbors to be well drawn.I grew up in a suburb rather than a small town, one year before Haven Kimmel, so I coul...
  • Cristina
    Okay so I have to be honest here...I really didn't like this book, which is strange because it seems like everyone out there that I have talked too; absolutely loves it and thinks it's hilirious. I was mostly interested in reading the book because my mom grew up in a small town in Indiana so I thought it would be fun to see some similarities in how she was raised compared to Zippy's upbringing but honestly I really struggled getting through the b...
  • Sterlingcindysu
    3.5 This was my first "pool book" of the summer--you know, a paperback book you can read at the pool that you don't mind getting wet and is something you can pick up and get into quickly. A funny book written about the same time I was growing up as well. Her comments about all the mothers taking ceramics and decoupage were exactly right! But I could sense tension between the family members and sure enough, it looks like there's a second book she'...
  • Donna
    This would have been 4 stars, but I had to 'up it' one star because I could identify with so much of it. The author is very close to my own age, and just how she describes life and her neighbors and friends, sounded eerily familiar. It brought back memories.This was laugh out loud funny in some parts. It was hard to control the laughter in public. I will caution animal lovers out there: there is a fair amount of animal cruelty in this. The author...
  • Irene
    This is a series of light, sweet vignettes about growing up in a small town in Middle America among quirky neighbors and a loving family. This is a time when parents did not feel responsible to protect children from broken bones, road rash and wounded hearts, but believed it was their responsible to help kids heal from and live through them. These felt like the self-contained stories one might find in Family Circle or similar magazine. It is not ...