The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Bill Bryson
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why did Bryson hate going to the dentist?

2. Who was a person Bryson got to meet on one of these trips with his father?

3. What movie did Bryson's sister decide they needed to see?

4. What was the name of the cafeteria where the Brysons enjoyed having meals?

5. Who was the girl in Bryson's neighborhood that everyone wanted to see naked?

Short Essay Questions

1. Where did Bryson go with his friend's family on a summer outing and why did he not look forward to it?

2. What were the results on children of the U.S. bomb testings and what happened when the tests were moved underground?

3. What was Bryson's mother's main personality quirk?

4. How did Bryson describe Des Moines and the area of the city where he lived?

5. What was the only real danger in town and how did the Thunderbolt Kid take care of the situation?

6. How did the Thunderbolt Kid get his powers and what were the circumstances of the Thunderbolt Kid getting his costume?

7. How easy was it for Bryson to find somebody to play with?

8. What behaviors did teenagers exhibit in the 1950s?

9. What other accessories did Bryson need to become the Thunderbolt Kid?

10. What were some of the ways that boys could see glimpses of naked women?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe the format of the book. How does Bryson distinguish between current activity and flashbacks to his past? What is the difference is style and tone? Are the differentiations separated visually in any way? How did this improve your reading of this book?

Essay Topic 2

Humor takes on an almost human persona in this story. What is this literary technique called? Cite examples that support this position.

Essay Topic 3

Create a character study of Bill Bryson. What are his physical characteristics? What are his personality traits? What are his motivations? What are his fears? What else can you say about Bryson?

(see the answer keys)

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