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 did Bryson's grandparents go nearly every night in the summer?

2. What was the minimum age for admittance into the venue in #148 when Bryson was 13?

3. In which town did the people in #121 live?

4. What was the happiest year on record according to the Gallup Organization?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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