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. Who was Bryson's brother?

2. What type of exercise did Bryson's father practice?

3. What disease was a major concern during the 1950s?

4. The hydrogen bomb could have ignited all the ____________ in the world.

5. What was the main street of Bryson's hometown?

Short Essay Questions

1. What were some of the appliances that people in the 1950s were excited about owning?

2. What form of exercise did Bryson's father like to practice and what was an unusual location for his exercise routine?

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

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

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

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

7. What were some of the regulations about sex in the 1950s?

8. Describe the events at the lake and why this was one of the best days of Bryson's life?

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

10. What particular times were especially long for kids?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

Bryson is masterful at crafting literary descriptions for his readers. Choose a paragraph from the book which you find especially descriptive. How do you think Bryson was able to craft it the way he did? What is so appealing to you about the passage? Explain.

(see the answer keys)

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