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. What club did Doug Willoughby take over?

2. What university did Bryson's mother attend?

3. What happened to the Thunderbolt Kid's sacred jersey?

4. At what age did Bryson start the job in #109?

5. What was the end of the dog in #114?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. What were the circumstances when, for the second time, Bryson realized that adults could not be trusted?

6. What was Bryson's opinion of staying in Des Moines versus moving to a bigger city?

7. What happened to The Thunderbolt Kid's sacred jersey?

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

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

10. What was Bryson's job as a boy and how did his absentmindedness become a liability?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Why did Bryson choose to use the first person perspective for the stories? What does this point of view entail? What do you know about the characters and the plot lines that you would not know from a different point of view? What do you NOT know about the characters and plot lines based on this point of view?

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

Create a character study of Bill Bryson. What are his physical characteristics? What are his personality traits? What are his motivations? What are his fears? What else can you say about Bryson?

(see the answer keys)

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