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 disease was a major concern during the 1950s?

2. Who was the girl in Bryson's neighborhood that everyone wanted to see naked?

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

4. What was one of the few things that was really exciting for Bryson?

5. Why did Bryson hate going to the dentist?

Short Essay Questions

1. What other accessories did Bryson need to become the Thunderbolt Kid?

2. Where did Bryson's father work and what were some of the perks of the job?

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. What was the ritual Bryson had with his mother every Friday evening?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

Create a character study of Bryson's parents. What were their physical characteristics? What were their motivations? What were their fears? What were their dreams? What else can you say about Bryson's parents?

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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