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 another fear for people in the 1950s?

2. Who was the Bryson family's dentist?

3. What family attraction and vacation spot opened in 1955?

4. Who was the Thunderbolt Kid?

5. What could take Bryson a whole morning to do on the weekends?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How many siblings did Bryson have?

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

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

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

6. Who was Dewey and how did he impact Bryson's job?

7. What were some of the regulations about sex in the 1950s?

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

9. For what was Bryson most notorious in high school and what did he do after graduation?

10. What did the adult Bryson recall about the Des Moines of his youth?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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 3

Explain some of the examples of regionalism found in the book. Can regionalism include more than accents and food? What else encompasses the culture and personality of a region?

(see the answer keys)

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