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 time did Bryson have to get to work on Sundays?

2. What was Bill's reaction after the Cuban Missile Crisis?

3. Why were all the students so sleepy in school?

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

5. What was the one constant in the potluck suppers in town?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What were the weather extremes in Winfield?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe the overall settings for the book. What is important about each setting as it is revealed? What are the time periods of the stories? How important are the time periods to the attitudes and issues of the people?

Essay Topic 2

Bryson is masterful at crafting literary descriptions for his readers. Choose a paragraph from the book which you find especially descriptive. How do you think Bryson was able to craft it the way he did? What is so appealing to you about the passage? Explain.

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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