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

3. What was the name of Bryson's elementary school?

4. Where did the Bryson family go in the new vehicle?

5. What university did Bryson's mother attend?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What were the weather extremes in Winfield?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss Bryson's writing style. How is he different from other writers of his time? What are some of his characteristic writing techniques? Identify some examples of his classic style in this book.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Explain the significance of the book's title--THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE THUNDERBOLT KID. Why did Bryson choose this title? Is there an understood message in the title? Is there another title you can suggest that might also be appropriate?

(see the answer keys)

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