The back cover of A Girl Named Zippy: Growing Up Small in Mooreland, Indiana by Haven Kimmel says it "offers a rare and welcome treat: a memoir of a happy childhood." And it does. This is a happy and funny book. It was fun to read.
I like how Kimmel's chapters unfold. They seem to start as a little collection of unrelated stories, but by the end of the chapter, they are somehow related. I can't imagine her childhood was quite this organized, and you'd be hard-pressed to convince me that every single person in Mooreland was quite this eccentric, but Kimmel makes it work.
My favorite thing about A Girl Named Zippy is Kimmel's outlook and the family's love that makes this a memoir about a happy childhood. Because all the ingredients are there for a different sort of memoir about a child who overcame a drunken, lazy father, a seemingly indifferent mother, abusive neighbors and teachers, and plenty of poverty too. Kimmel's attitude is what makes this book rare. She doesn't blame her parents or her upbringing for anything. She doesn't wallow in self-pity or pride herself on overcoming anything. She simply tells her story from a child's point of view.
Recommended, but not overwhelmingly so. It's a pleasant book to read.