Monday, October 22, 2007

Fall Into Reading 2007 #5 - Zipping Through Another Book

From the prologue in A Girl Named Zippy:

Not long ago my sister Melinda shocked me by saying she had always assumed that the book on Mooreland had yet to be written because no on e sane would be interested in reading it. “No, no, wait,” she said. “I know who might read such a book. A person lying in a hospital bed with no television and no roommate. Just lying there. Maybe waiting for a physical therapist. And then here comes a candy striper with at squeaky library cart and on the cart there is only one book – or maybe two books: yours, and Cooking with Pork. I can see how a person would be grateful for Mooreland then.”

Take note interwebs. This is one of the few times that Lindy is flat out wrong. And I say that with glee and a smirk.

Born in the sleepy, disconnected town of Mooreland, Indiana, Haven Kimmel (or Zippy – she was nicknamed after a little roller-skating chimpanzee that her father saw on a tv show) recalls story after story after story of her growing up in a place where everyone knows everyone else and their business. From the motherly entries in her baby book to her precocious self at the ripe age of being a tweener, Kimmel takes the reader back to a time when a pet was a friend, the elderly are ancient (and never die) and bath is a four-letter word. Whether asking all sorts of “impertinent” questions, becoming the teacher’s worst nightmare or trying everything to avoid going to church with her mom, Zippy breathes life into her amusing experiences and animated characters with charmingly offbeat flair.

From the moment when, on a kindergarten report card, she is defined as someone who "is disruptive in class. Colors outside of the lines. Talks out of turn," her parents promptly congratulate her for this achievement of originality and individuality. From that point on, Kimmel develops a distinctive personality through her own characteristically lively rules. Treating readers to a heroine as appealing, naive, and knowing as Scout Finch as she navigates the quirky adult world surrounding Zippy, Kimmel creates a world where family is everything and the world is one big mystery just waiting to be solved, one question at a time.

This book is a delightful vignette, full of some truths, some fictions, all the while being dead-on funny. It’s fresh, it’s original and it’s just waiting to be added to your reading list.

Reading list and previous reviews for the Reading Challenge:
FIR #4

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