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 think that Sunday mornings were too long?

2. What did Bryson say was a myth about childhood?

3. Where did Bryson get to accompany his father on business-related trips?

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

5. Why could men and boys not see the magazine in #78?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. What particular times were especially long for kids?

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

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

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?

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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