Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel

A Girl Named Zippy (original 2001; edition 2002)

by Haven Kimmel

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,036803,284 (3.85)90
Title:A Girl Named Zippy
Authors:Haven Kimmel
Info:Broadway (2002), Paperback, 275 pages
Tags:read 2012, memoir, Indiana, small town, humor, childhood, family

Work details

A Girl Named Zippy: Growing Up Small in Mooreland, Indiana by Haven Kimmel (2001)


Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 90 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 79 (next | show all)
Somehow I had gotten the impression that there was child abuse or at least neglect in this, but today my Mother saw a copy I was getting ready to put at my OBCZ and told me to read it first. ?So, on the stack it goes!

And done. ?áWell, hm. ?áHer parents and (much) older siblings were far from perfect. ?áBut she also clearly loved them. ?áI guess we're just supposed to trust that the slightly disturbing incidents were just that, incidents, and that the vast majority of her childhood, for which there was no room in the book, was just fine.

What I found interesting is that I too grew up in a very small town in the Midwest, just two years before Kimmel, and we have very few memories in common. ?áAt one point though she did mention an ugly" plaid, black and gray and pink. ?áWell, I had a hair bow in that plaid and I treasured it for years as so pretty.

But goodness do most of the teachers get described with contempt. ?áHer kindergarten report read: "'Is disruptive in class. ?áColors outside the lines. ?áTalks out of turn.' ?áWhen I showed it to my parents, they read it out loud to me, and my mom said, 'Good for you, sweetheart.' ?áAnd my dad gave me a little pat on the back."

So, anyway, if you like memoirs of ordinary people, if you like Garrison Keillor type stuff, or that library cat Dewey kind of stuff, or a nicer version of Sedaris even, maybe, yes, I do recommend this. ?áIt's not long; you can make time for it.

Oh, one more thing. ?áI'm not sure why the subtitle is 'growing up small....' ?áZippy was a tall, coltish girl." ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
Cute, charming and funny.  The main character is like the human equivalent of Louise from the Bob's Burgers cartoon. ( )
  Darth-Heather | May 31, 2016 |
Misogynistic. I didn't expect a small midwestern town to have racial or any other kind of diversity issues, but patriarchy rules supreme and infiltrates into the mind of the young. Every woman (+12) is described in negative terms (ex. 'addle-headed', 'crazy", "unintelligent", manipulative, vain, incompetent, couch potato, hypocrite). Girls, undifferentiated females, fare better, but men with their practical jokes, honest religious beliefs, competence and sense of adventure are the true heroes of this memoir. I kept thinking it would get better, but after page 176 I gave up. ( )
  nabeelar | May 28, 2016 |
Haven Kimmel, born in 1965, grew up in Mooreland, Indiana, population 300. Born funny looking, not talking until she was nearly three, she was constantly zipping around the house, thus her nickname, Zippy. She takes us back not just to a different time, but a place not many have grown up in; a very small town, or as Canadians would call it, a village. Growing up a Jarvis, she was not only precocious, but the daughter of a man who was a real character. This is a memoir, so naturally some parts are embellished, but with humour and insightful observations in a way that helps paint a clear picture through the eyes of the child she was at that time rather than including a great deal of re-interpreting from her adult perspective.

This memoir, Kimmel’s debut book, was a New York Times bestseller, and I can see why. I can’t say that I loved everything about her story telling to the point of giving it five stars, but I do have to say that, unlike most memoirs, I really enjoyed it. There was honesty behind it, and while I hardly expect someone to remember their early childhood the way a camera might have recorded it—even adults aren’t capable of that—having grown up in a community so small that everyone knew what I’d done whether I’d actually done it or not, I could relate to that part of it. And her relationship with her friend, Julie, reminded me of that of my dad and his best friend when he grew up in a small town on the Canadian prairies, where one does all the talking for the both of them. I am planning on reading her other memoir. ( )
  Karin7 | Apr 21, 2016 |
I enjoyed this. Having spent some years living in a small town while growing up, I could relate to much of the town dynamics. I liked how Kimmel was able to describe her experiences from the perspective of youth. It was delightful, and again I could relate to some of her youthful "reasoning" and choices. I think character development was good, particularly for the parents and "Zippy".

I'd recommend this as a light, easy read. ( )
  MahanaU | Feb 26, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 79 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
So is there no fact, no event, in our private history,, which shall not, sooner or later, lose its adhesive, inert form, and astonish us by souring from our body into the empyrean? Cradle and infancy, school and playground, the fear of boys, and dogs, and ferules, the love of little maids and verries, and many another facts that once filled the whole sky, are gone already; friend and relative, profession and party, town and country, nation and world, must also soar and sing. --Ralph Waldo Emerson, The American Soldier
For my mother and my sister
For absent friends
First words
If you look at an atlas of the United States, one published around, say, 1940, there is, in the state of Indiana, north of New Castle and east of the Epileptic Village, a small town called Mooreland.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0767915054, Paperback)

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, and kept barnyard animals in their backyards.

Laced with fine storytelling, sharp wit, dead-on observations, and moments of sheer joy, Haven Kimmel's straight-shooting portrait of her childhood gives us a heroine who is wonderfully sweet and sly as she navigates the quirky adult world that surrounds Zippy.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:29 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

The author offers a chronicle of growing up in a small town in America's heartland, offering portraits of her family and her encounters with the complexities of the adult world, romance, and small-town life during the 1960s and 1970s.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
84 avail.
27 wanted
4 pay4 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.85)
1 19
1.5 4
2 32
2.5 15
3 152
3.5 31
4 223
4.5 25
5 204


An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

HighBridge Audio

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge Audio.

» Publisher information page


An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 107,484,581 books! | Top bar: Always visible