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 a household item that people were buying in the 1950s?

2. What type of exercise did Bryson's father practice?

3. Bryson recalled a day in August of ____________ when he went on an outing with a friend and his family.

4. What craft looked like fun at first but ended up being messy and frustrating?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. The Iowa State Fair had many attractions but what did boys hope to see the most?

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

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

4. What did Bryson and his friends do when they went to the movie matinees?

5. What was the irony of sending Bryson to the cloakroom as a punishment?

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

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

8. Describe the events surrounding Bryson's finally getting into the strippers' tent at the state fair.

9. Describe the Audio Visual Club and why the boys were anxious to join.

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

Essay 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

Humor takes on an almost human persona in this story. What is this literary technique called? Cite examples that support this position.

(see the answer keys)

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