A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel

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A Girl Named Zippy

First of all, I must admit that just as I am not above buying a bottle of wine because of a cute label, I am also not above buying a book for it’s cover. But I didn’t buy this book for it’s cover (though I actually love it), I bought it as an audio book, because I needed another nonfiction book to listen to. That’s what I do, I read fiction, listen to non-fiction. It keeps me from getting plots and characters mixed up.

Do you want to know how much I loved this book? I loved it so much that I bought the book, A Girl Named Zippy: Growing Up Small in Mooreland, Indianain paperback form too. That’s right, I have it in audiobook and paperback. I wanted to be able to go back and reread favorite passages, share lines with friends, and all that other stuff you must do when you have fallen in love with a book.

In this book, Haven Kimmel talks of growing up in Moreland, Indiana. Her childhood stories are charming, engaging, funny, sweet, and every other positive adjective that I can think of. The writing is beautiful, the descriptions so complete you feel as if you are there. I literally just spent about ten minutes trying to find a favorite part to include here. It’s almost impossible. I love every part. A small sample will not really do this book justice, but I’ll try:

There were identical twins in my class, Anita and Annette. By any standard, Anita was the sweetest person available, plus she could turn the best cartwheel and bake in an Easy Bake Oven. Annette was quite diverse. She could play any sport and could also draw very handsomely. I sometimes got them as best friends; not together, one at a time, although having one was like having both. I considered them a real best friend coup.


When we were all invited to a party at Julie’s house in the fall of our fourth-grade year, I assumed that my naturally superior relationship with animals and farm implements would be revealed, and in the ledger in which our talents were recorded, I would finally have one little tick in my column. I no longer hoped to beat Dana at anything. I just wanted to be able to say that once, in the wretched life that followed her arrival, I had proved good at something.

I highly recommend this book both in audio and print. The audio is nice because it is read by the author and I think she sounds like Peggy from Mad Men. The print is nice because you can reread and share favorite parts. When I ordered the paperback, I also ordered She Got Up Off the Couch: And Other Heroic Acts from Mooreland, IndianaI haven’t read it yet, but I expect it to be every bit as wonderful!

Five out of five stars.

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  1. says

    I love the passages you included here. This is being added to my Amazon wish list! Hopefully I will have more time to read with winter break coming up.

  2. says

    I loved this book, and like you, ordered the next one. I haven’t read it yet, but plan to, soon.

    i loved Zippy and her take on the world. In some ways, it helped me see how perhaps my daughter’s brain works. I can’t remember any specifics now, but I know that at the time, I saw a lot of similarities between them.

    Zippy is absolutely charming.

  3. says

    I have an Amazon gift card that’s been sitting here staring at me… so this one definitely goes on the list!

    (you have an award over at my place, so stop on by!)

  4. lindalib00 says

    I, too, first came across this in audio, and loved every minute of it. I think my favorite bit is when she says something along the lines of “When it became fatally clear to me that I could no longer go on living without a pet chicken…” I’m a librarian in a public library and we have it in our Young Adult section, but I recommend to everyone.

  5. says

    I’m so glad you wrote about this. Now I can send the link to people I’ve tried to talk into reading the book. I didn’t just laugh out loud, I laughed ’til I cried at parts.

    I don’t know why I haven’t read Got Up Off the Couch. I’ll wait for your book report!

  6. says

    I read this several years ago (probably when the hardcover was first released) and thought it was so entertaining. I know I laughed out loud. If you enjoy this sort of memoir, I highly recommend Fifty Acres and a Poodle by Jeanne Laskas. I’ve reviewed the sequel (Under the Same Moon: Fifty Acres and a Family) on my blog, if you’re interested. Extremely funny and touching at the same time. I laughed and cried within a sentence or two.

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