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Publisher's Summary

When Haven Kimmel was born in 1965, Mooreland, Indiana, was a sleepy little hamlet of 300 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.

©2001 Haven Kimmel; (P)2001 HighBridge Company

Critic Reviews

"Filled with good humor, fine storytelling, and acute observations of small-town life." (Library Journal)
"Kimmel's smooth, impeccably humorous prose evokes her childhood as vividly as any novel." (Publishers Weekly)
"Almost dreamlike in some of [her] elusive storytelling, [Kimmel] pulls off a feat that's harder than it looks: write for adults from a child's perspective...Zippy's parents must have done something right to produce a girl who could write such a simple and lovely book." (USA Today)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Story

Beautifully written, beautifully read.

I hurried to read this after stumbling onto the author's novel, Something Rising Light & Swift, and being bowled over by Haven Kimmel's clear and quirky style. I loved this memoir, her unsentimental and affectionate take on her slightly odd family and her little town and her dry humor. Her reading was perfect. I've recommended this book to everyone I know.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Kathy
  • Davis, CA, United States
  • 04-29-13

Such a great book to listen to!

I knew I wanted to get the two Zippy books, and then they went on sale recently. Perfect opportunity, and I downloaded them both.

I just want to commend the author, Haven Kimmel, on her wonderful writing and narration skills. All in all, it was a truly fun listening experience! Kimmel's Zippy voice was amazing--obviously, no one could do it better than her, as she IS Zippy! This book is very funny and had me laughing out loud many times. Zippy tells of her childhood in short "essays" and you really get a feeling that she was an amazing child who made her own way in the world by necessity, as her parents were lacking in many parenting skills. There was just a touch of the bittersweet in this book if you "listen" between the lines, as parenting Zippy was not a priority for her parents. Zippy quickly became her own person and she had quite a memorable childhood despite what was lacking in her parents. I felt I could listen to Zippy's stories endlessly and was sorry when the book ended. Luckily for me, I had the sequel, "She Got Up Off The Couch" waiting in my library.

Highly recommended.--not a child's book but a book for the young at heart.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Jack
  • Pratt, KS, United States
  • 03-27-11

My FAVORITE Audible book... ever!

I have never read nor listened to a more charming and entertaining book than Zippy. Haven Kimmel connects with every inflection and believeable word. Each short chapter is a gem of insight into the life of this precociously honest child. If YOU grew up in a small town, you'll identify and appreciate all the memories that will be revisited. The sequel is equally wonderful. Its a great "read" on road trips. Seriouly... my favorite book ever.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • kimberly
  • claremont, CA, United States
  • 06-13-10

Engaging, funny, charming

Haven Kimmel's writing is such that you immediately want to know more about the characters and life in a tiny town in Indiana. Memoirs can be grossly self-indulgent, but this one isn't. It's just engaging, funny and charming.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful!

A fascinating look at family. Funny too.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Nostalgic and charming

A delightful memoir ! I loved Haven Kimmel's reading, it felt like she was sharing her memories of the quaint and quirky people of Moreland, Indiana. Lovely.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Tom Sawyer's Little Sister...

As if Tom Sawyer's "little sister" had written her autobiography in a series of droll vignettes, except Ms. Himmel is a real girl, and her stories are artfully told. She writes really well, reads well, and tells a touching story about growing up in a kooky but loving home, in a community where mother is devout, father is skeptical, and the lady across the lane might just be an old witch. Recommended.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mia
  • Connersville, IN, USA
  • 04-27-10

Makes the time "zip" by!

Listened to this on a trip to and from New Orleans from Indiana (a town just a few miles from Zippy's). Reminded me of my own childhood in so many ways and made me want to get back to writing my own autobiography. I love Haven Kimmel's adult observations about growing up.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Caryl
  • SPRING VALLEY, MN, United States
  • 11-25-09

Definitely a fun read, great story

Enjoy the author's humor. It was real read but it did not have any reality that took the story dark. A story with a good outlook on life.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Just a great story teller!

What initially caught my interest with this book was that the author is about the same age as I, and she grew up in relatively the same area. As I made my way through the book I looked for more information about her. I would say we are pretty much on opposite ends of the political/social spectrum (I'm very conservative, she is not). However, that does not change the fact that Haven (Zippy) is a fantastic story teller. She has the rare gift to put bits of humor in line after line. Humor, of course, is a personal thing but I found Zippy to be a real treasure of a book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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