My latest read is Zippy by Haven Kimmel.
It was great. A lovely, light-hearted account of growing up in a small town. You get some glimpses of the strange things in her life, but in all Zippy is totally happy, and it is just fun.
My favorite parts:
Zippy describes the family camping vacation and how her dad prepares.
"It took, quite literally, a whole day for my dad to prepare to go camping. The trailer had to be outfitted with supplies, and they all had to go in special tiny places, all facing the same direction; the truck had to be cleaned and gassed up and all the fluids checked and topped off; the hitch had to be stepped on seventy-four times to make sure it could handle the weight of the trailer; the trailer had to be connected to the hitch, which involved actually lifting the trailer off the ground and fitting it onto the ball."
I liked that description (and it goes on) because it reminded me of my dad. He's not as neurotic as Zippy's dad, but he is a super efficient packer, so we just stand back and let him load everything. Usually this starts early in the morning, and my dad will work for an hour getting everything in and placed just right. By that time (in the summers on the east coast) he is sweating and has to go have another shower before we can leave.
The other part I liked best was when Zippy describes memorizing poetry in 4th grade.
"The first poem I chose was Frost's 'Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,' and when I stood up to recite it I got through it marvelously, right up until the last line, 'and miles to go before I sleep,' repeats itself, and then I got intensely moved and just had to stand there with my throat aching while thirty-seven unsympathetic eyes stared at me. Finally I just ran over to my desk and put my head down, and Mrs. Denver walked over behind my desk and put her hand on my shoulder.
'Why does he do that?' I asked in a tight, mad voice, meaning why does he repeat the last line in that devilish way."
Great book, I totally recommend it.