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 was the name of the cafeteria where the Brysons enjoyed having meals?

2. Who was the Thunderbolt Kid?

3. What movie did Bryson's sister decide they needed to see?

4. What was another natural threat during Bryson's childhood days?

5. Who created the first television dinners?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. Who was The Thunderbolt Kid?

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

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

10. What is the premise of THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE THUNDERBOLT KID?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Bryson wrote the book with an overall theme of a simpler life. Choose three situations from any of the stories and explain the uncomplicated life in each. How did Bryson view this simple life at the time? How did he view them as an adult?

Essay Topic 3

Give some examples of humor in the book. Do you think Bryson appreciates slapstick humor or wit of a more sophisticated nature or both? Explain.

(see the answer keys)

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