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 friend who lived across the alley and had good toys?

2. In what month was Bryson born?

3. Who was Bryson's brother?

4. Who was the Thunderbolt Kid?

5. In what city did Bryson's mother's relatives live?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Describe the albino Lincoln Logs experience.

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

4. What was Bryson's notion of how slowly time passed for kids?

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

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

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

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

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

10. What particular times were especially long for kids?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

Describe the format of the book. How does Bryson distinguish between current activity and flashbacks to his past? What is the difference is style and tone? Are the differentiations separated visually in any way? How did this improve your reading of this book?

Essay Topic 3

What is the point of view of this book? Why did Bryson use this point of view? Is it the only way the book could have realistically been written? How else could Bryson have used point of view to alter the rhythm of the book? Explain.

(see the answer keys)

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