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 were household buying more than one of in the 1950s?

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

3. What was it about Bryson's Thunderbolt Kid outfit that caused laughter from the other kids?

4. What did Bryson, Buddy and Bill do to the Lincoln Logs to turn them white?

5. What family attraction and vacation spot opened in 1955?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How did Bryson get some insight into sex?

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

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

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

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

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

8. What were the results of the hydrogen bombs dropped by the United States in 1952 and 1954?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

One of the most striking characteristics of Bryson's writing is his complete honesty. Explain why this is necessary to complete a book of this nature. Would a reader be able to see through fabrications and falsehoods in a book like this? Describe why this format is the perfect for Bryson's personality.

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

Why did Bryson choose to use the first person perspective for the stories? What does this point of view entail? What do you know about the characters and the plot lines that you would not know from a different point of view? What do you NOT know about the characters and plot lines based on this point of view?

(see the answer keys)

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