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 President of the United States when Bryson was born?

2. Who tasted the albino Lincoln Logs?

3. By 1958, the average child in the United States carried ten times more _______________ than the year before.

4. What precaution did kids in the 1950s not have to take?

5. Where did the Thunderbolt Kid get his powers?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How easy was it for Bryson to find somebody to play with?

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

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

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

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

7. Who was The Thunderbolt Kid?

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

9. What particular times were especially long for kids?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Explain Bryson's childhood growing up in Des Moines, Iowa, in the 1950s. What was his family life like? Who were his friends? What were his school experiences? How did these people and experiences form him into the adult he became?

Essay Topic 3

There are several events of foreshadowing in the stories. Define foreshadowing. Cite at least two situations in the stories that serve as foreshadowing.

(see the answer keys)

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