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. Bryson recalled a day in August of ____________ when he went on an outing with a friend and his family.

2. Who was the doctor who made a house call to tend to Bryson's head injury?

3. For what characteristic was Bryson's father known?

4. Where did Bryson grow up?

5. What was a household item that people were buying in the 1950s?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What did Bryson buy with his newspaper route money and what other interest did he develop at this time?

3. Who was The Thunderbolt Kid?

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

5. What was Bryson's job as a boy and how did his absentmindedness become a liability?

6. What particular times were especially long for kids?

7. What did the adult Bryson recall about what happened to his parents and friends?

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

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

10. How did Bryson get some insight into sex?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Describe the overall settings for the book. What is important about each setting as it is revealed? What are the time periods of the stories? How important are the time periods to the attitudes and issues of the people?

Essay Topic 2

Bryson is a master at dramatic devices. Choose an example of symbolism, metaphors, and irony, briefly describe them, and identify the technique which they embody.

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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