Monday, July 7, 2008

Guest Blog--Remembering Childhood

A Girl Named Zippy is an entertaining, humorous, and at times touching tribute to childhood. Author Haven Kimmel grew up in tiny Mooreland, Indiana--perpetual population of three hundred. I could relate to Haven's stories of childhood, even though her life differed than mine in many aspects. Unlike me, Kimmel grew up in a very rural town, where everyone knew each other and the tiny drugstore was the major commercial center. One brilliantly-decorated house constituted the town holiday decor. And unlike the university town I grew up in, most people had very little book education. (Mooreland thought Kimmel's mother was a Communist because she read The Atlantic Monthly.)

While I didn't spend my life barefoot or on a bike (I never even owned a bike), I could relate to Zippy's carefree attitude about life. I especially enjoyed remembering the warped thinking of a child, which is one of the most charming aspects of the book. I also appreciated the revelation that while Zippy's parents were dysfunctional and never knew where Zippy was, they loved her immensely--and that was the most important thing in her life.

Kimmel's eclectic reflections only get us to her fifth grade year, which leaves me wanting to know more. Did her parents stay together? How did an agnostic girl like Zippy end up attending seminary? (A fact I only know from the back cover.) And how did Kimmel end up leaving Mooreland? Although I want to know these answers, I also appreciate Kimmel's restraint in leaving such questions unanswered--and leaving her book unspoiled.


Blogger said...

I have very fond memories of my own carefree childhood. My best memories are of going to the library and doing the summer reading program. I also love that people thought the mom was a Communist since I am often accused of that myself.

Wanna-Be Lit said...

See, I know you will love this book.