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

2. What magazine offered men and boys the chance to see naked women?

3. Who led a movement in trying to identify the element in #95?

4. What disease was a major concern during the 1950s?

5. How many children under the age of 12 were living in the mid-1950s in America?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the albino Lincoln Logs experience.

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

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

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

5. Name some of the things that showed that life was simpler and safer in the 1950s.

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

7. Who was The Thunderbolt Kid?

8. Describe a typical experience of Bryson's family stopping to see his mother's family every time they went on vacation.

9. How many siblings did Bryson have?

10. How did Bryson get some insight into sex?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss Bryson's writing style. How is he different from other writers of his time? What are some of his characteristic writing techniques? Identify some examples of his classic style in this book.

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

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?

(see the answer keys)

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