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 exercise was held at the school each month?

2. Where did Bryson and his friends have fun most of the year?

3. What kind of car did Bryson's father buy?

4. What color was the barn on Bryson's grandparents' farm?

5. Why did Bryson and his friends play inside most of the time?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the situation in which Bryson realized he could not trust adults.

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

3. What were the weather extremes in Winfield?

4. How did the Bryson family end up staying in a hotel in Harlem?

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

6. What was the recovery process for Bryson's broken leg?

7. What did Bryson learn about his parents that pleased him and how did this change his views of his real parentage?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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 3

Explain some of the examples of regionalism found in the book. Can regionalism include more than accents and food? What else encompasses the culture and personality of a region?

(see the answer keys)

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