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 type of soda did Bryson get when he went downtown with his grandfather?

2. What killed the elm trees in Des Moines at the end of the 1950s?

3. Where did the elementary school students eat lunch?

4. Research in the late 1950s indicated that ___________ caused cancer.

5. Where did the Brysons spend a night in a cheap hotel?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. What were some of the unpleasant issues Americans faced in 1957 even though the Gallup organization claimed it was a very happy year?

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

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

7. What did Bryson usually do when he spent time at his grandparents' home?

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

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

10. Describe the scenario of sleeping on his grandparents' sleeping porch in the winter.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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

What is the point of view of this book? Why did Bryson use this point of view? Is it the only way the book could have realistically been written? How else could Bryson have used point of view to alter the rhythm of the book? Explain.

(see the answer keys)

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