The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid Test | Final 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. Where was Bryson sent quite a bit as punishment?

2. What supermarket remained from Bryson's youth?

3. What game did the person in #152 introduce Bryson to?

4. In what year was the Cuban Missile Crisis?

5. What body part did Bryson break?

Short Essay Questions

1. What changes were occurring in Des Moines as the 1950s came to a close?

2. Describe Riverview Amusement Park and why Bryson thought it was so awful.

3. How did the very long winter season impact the school children?

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

5. What did the adult Bryson recall about what happened to his parents and friends?

6. What were the weather extremes in Winfield?

7. What were Bryson's favorite books in school and why did he like them?

8. What did Bryson buy with his newspaper route money and what other interest did he develop at this time?

9. What was Bryson's elementary school and what were some of the features that made it so nice?

10. Where did Bryson's grandparents live and what did he love about the place?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Create a "character" sketch of the city of Des Moines. What personality shines through for you for this city? Did Bryson make you want to learn more and perhaps visit one day? What would you most like to see? What is the one fact or interesting feature that you can recall about Des Moines? Explain.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Create a character study of Bryson. What were his physical characteristics? What were his motivations? What were his fears? What were his dreams? What else can you say about Bryson?

(see the answer keys)

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