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. What did Bryson say was a myth about childhood?

2. Where did the Brysons visit during their trip to the state in #59?

3. Who was the friend that Bryson went on the outing with?

4. Who did Bryson think his real father must have been?

5. What appliance was treated like a treasured guest in the Bryson household?

Short Essay Questions

1. What businesses came about as the result of more cars in America?

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

3. How did television change life for people in the 1950s?

4. What sorts of things did Bryson and other kids do to help pass the long days?

5. Who was the one girl that all the neighborhood boys wanted to see naked and how did Bryson miss out on this momentous occasion?

6. What was the ritual Bryson had with his mother every Friday evening?

7. Describe the albino Lincoln Logs experience.

8. Describe a typical experience of Bryson's family stopping to see his mother's family every time they went on vacation.

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

10. Who was Joseph R. McCarthy and what was his role in the fear of Communism that spread across America?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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

Essay Topic 2

Bryson had respect for all of the people in the book but do you think he likes any one of them more than the others? Who would you choose to be your new friend among the people Bryson introduced in the book. Explain.

Essay Topic 3

Explain the significance of the book's title--THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE THUNDERBOLT KID. Why did Bryson choose this title? Is there an understood message in the title? Is there another title you can suggest that might also be appropriate?

(see the answer keys)

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