Breathe

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The world has no air. If you want to survive, you pay to breathe. But what if you can't? And what if you think everything could be different? Three teens will leave everything they know behind in Sarah Crossan's gripping and original dystopian teen novel of danger, longing, and glimmering hope that will appeal to fans of Patrick Ness and Veronica Roth.

National Book Award Finalist Kathleen Duey called Breathe "An amazing story! Sit down. Inhale. Now, while you still can." Ever since the Switch, when the oxygen levels plummeted and most of humanity died, the survivors have been protected in glass domes full of manufactured air. Protected . . . or trapped? Or controlled? Alina's a revolutionary who believes we can save the environment. Quinn's a Premium who's never had to worry about having enough air. His best friend, Bea, is an Auxiliary who's never worried about anything but having enough air. When the three cross paths, they will change everything. Sarah Crossan's thrilling and provocative novel is about passion, about yearning for something better, and about breaking free for the very first time. The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books proclaims it an "action-packed dystopian series opener to watch out for."

Curriculet Details
117 Questions
91 Annotations
3 Quizzes

Designed for students in 9th and 10th grade, this free digital curriculum contains annotations explaining idioms, figurative language, and theme. It also contains interactive videos that support comprehension, such as videos about nature and chemistry. Over the course of the book, students will answer Common Core questions and quizzes related to the subjects of diction, characterization, and theme. This free online unit will increase student engagement while building reading comprehension.

The curriculet is being added to your library

Note

This is foreshadowing. The author is letting us know that things are going to change. 

Homework #7

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.2
Consider the statement "breathing is a right, not a privilege". What's the difference? 
Abel is a biblical name. Abel was the son of Adam and Eve. His was the very first murder. He was murdered by his brother Cain, who was jealous of him. 
The fact that there is a group in the social hierarchy referred to as "Premiums" indicates that there are people at lower places in the hierarchy. As the video indicates, social hierarchy has existed throughout history. (This annotation contains a link)
Did you know that you can look up any word in the text of the book or the text of the questions and answers? Just click (or press on mobile devices) the word you want to define and hold until the blue text selector pops up. When you release, a define option will appear. Since it's so easy to look up words, make sure you use this feature frequently. Is there a word on this page you need to look up? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
What is Alina's mission? 
Elms used to be the most numerous trees in America, but disease has cut their numbers. (This annotation contains a link)

Homework #8

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
What is the most likely setting of chapter two? 
The structure of this novel consists of chapters narrated by different characters. Alina narrates the first chapter, and Bea narrates the second chapter. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
Compare and contrast the lives of Bea and Alina. 
Mock trials give those interested in pursuing the law an opportunity to practice their skills in a simulation. (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
What do people have to pay for in this novel? 
Bea's parents seem to suffer from the effects of oxygen deficiency. You can read more about oxygen deficiency at the page linked below. (This annotation contains a link)
In this world, movement requires oxygen and oxygen costs money. Exercising is a sign of wealth. (This annotation contains a link)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
What does Bea's mother suggest Bea do? 

Homework #9

The narrator has changed once again. Quinn narrates this chapter from his point of view. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
What word best characterizes Ferris and Riley? 
"Pompous Premium" is an example of alliteration. Words beginning with the same consonant sound.  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4
What does lasciviously mean? 
In 2013, researchers began hinting that they may have a universal flu vaccine within the next few years.  (This annotation contains a link)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
What surprising opinion does the girl have about the vaccines? 

Homework #10

Silas is using the cuttings to grow new plants. (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
What information does Silas share with Alina? 
An algorithm is a step by step procedure for doing calculations in math or computer science. (This annotation contains a link)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
What does Alina fear has happened to Abel? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
For what are speed cameras used? 
A balaclava is a type of winter hat that also covers most of the face and the neck. (This annotation contains an image)

Homework #11

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4
What simile is used in the highlighted passage? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4
What type of figurative language is used in this sentence? 
To be of goblin proportions, Tilly must be extremely small. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.2
According to the news, what was Abel doing and what has happened to him? 
Air recycling systems are used on spacecraft. During the Apollo 13 mission, one of the difficulties that had to be overcome was repairing the air recycling system by creating a filter.  (This annotation contains a video)

Homework #12

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
Who is Cain Knavery? 
The name Cain Knavery has many levels of meaning. In the Bible, Cain was the son of Adam and Eve who killed his own brother, Abel. Knavery means behaving like a knave, a dishonest person. Cain Knavery is most likely not a person to trust, but it is an excellent name for a bad guy. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
What news does Quinn receive? 
Tree hugger is a euphemism for someone involved in the environmental movement. A tree hugger is someone who is trying to save the environment. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
How does Quinn feel about his parents? Cite evidence from the text to support your answer. 

Homework #13

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
What makes Alina suspicious about Abel's death? 
The goal of the Resistance seems to be a restoration of the ecosystem so that oxygen is produced by plants again. (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
Why can't Alina run out in the open? 
The picture is of Biosphere 2, an experimental project in Arizona, photo-shopped onto the Martian landscape. Without trees, this is probably similar to what the outer regions beyond the border look like for Alina. (This annotation contains an image)

Homework #14

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
How do Mr. and Mrs. Whitcraft embarrass Bea? Cite evidence from the text. 
The air tanks are probably very similar to scuba tanks. (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
What does Bea think Alina may be? 

Homework #15

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
Why can't Alina exit the pod? 
Batons are obviously the main weapon of the stewards; otherwise, he'd have his hand on a gun or other type of weapon. (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
What does the steward want in exchange for letting Quinn and Alina through the gate? 

Homework #17

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4
What simile is used to describe trying to breathe without a mask? 
There must still be some oxygen since some plants are still surviving. (This annotation contains a link)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
What feeling does Bea have for Alina? 
There is a real Monkwood in England. (This annotation contains a link)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
Compare and contrast Alina and Bea.  

Homework #18

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
What happened to all the trees? 
This statement seems to be one of the themes of this novel. Humans tend to believe they have time to correct their mistakes. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4
What type of figurative language is used in this sentence? 

Homework #19

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
How is Bea feeling as they follow Alina? 
The author has created a love triangle. This is a type of literary trope or formula used again and again in literature. The Twilight saga uses a similar trope with Edward, Jacob, and Bella.  (This annotation contains a video)

Homework #20

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
What useful items does Alina find in the bedroom? 
There's an idiom that applies here and in a lot of horror movies, "Curiosity killed the cat." It means that being curious can lead to bad consequences.  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4
Using words and phrases from the text, describe Maude Blue. 
Hopefully, the shots given out in the pod include a tetanus vaccine. Being cut with anything rusty can lead to tetanus.  (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
What word best characterizes Bea's behavior in this passage? 

Homework #21

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
About what are Bea, Alina, and Quinn arguing?  
Doing what is right versus what is legal is another literary theme that occurs in this novel. The Resistance's efforts to regrow trees is another example of this theme. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4
"Hope Hitmen" is an example of what type of figurative language? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
What evidence has Bea heard to lead her to this conclusion? 

Homework #22

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
What percentage of oxygen does Breathe give citizens inside the pod? 
The top two gases in the Earth's atmosphere are nitrogen at about 78% and oxygen at about 21%. (This annotation contains a video)
"As good as gold" is an idiom meaning obedient and well-behaved. The origin of this comes from checking gold to see if it was genuine. Someone promising to be 'as good as gold' is promising to be genuine and keep his or her word. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
What reason does Maude give for wanting to avoid Larry? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4
Identify the simile in this passage. 
This may be a malapropism, the misuse of a word that has humorous or ironic overtones. Quinn may have meant "actor" instead of "anarchist." An anarchist is someone who believes in being self-governing and in a world free of government influence. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
What decision does Quinn make? 

Homework #23

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
Why doesn't Maude want to go down into the station? 
This is another example of foreshadowing. Maude's fear of the station tells the reader that there is something far worse than drifters in the dark. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
What were the Death Stations? 
A "bleeding heart" is an idiom for someone who is very sympathetic towards others and feels their pain. (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
What was Alina's original plan before the tank came? 
"Blood on hands" is an allusion to the Bible. Isaiah 59:3 states "For your hands are stained with blood..." This also is an allusion to Macbeth, "Will all the water in the ocean wash this blood from my hands?" This allusion is used to indicate the guilt that someone feels. Alina feels guilty about Abel's death, and now, she feels guilty about Quinn too. In the clip, Lady Macbeth (Judi Dench) tries to wash the blood (guilt) from her hands. (This annotation contains a video)

Homework #24

Quiz #1 

Homework #25

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4
Identify the simile in this passage. 

Homework #26

Suffocation would be a faster death than thirst or hunger. A person, generally, can last three or four days without water and weeks without food.  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
For whom does Quinn keep calling? 

Homework #27

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
What sacrifice does Maude offer to make? 
Typically, condemned criminals facing the death penalty are allowed a last meal of their choice.  

Homework #28

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
For what does Quinn wish? 

Homework #30

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
Who rescues Quinn? 

Homework #32

Silas is right. If Quinn has a few broken ribs, a doctor probably wouldn't be able to do much. There is a new technique for dealing with multiple fractures. (This annotation contains a link)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4
To what does Quinn compare the moon? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
What's wrong with the tent? 

Homework #33

This is an example of personification. The cold isn't a living thing, but it "bites" Bea. The video explains the difference between personification and anthropomorphism.  (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
Why doesn't Bea have a map? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
Why are books so rare in the pod? 
Maude may be alluding to the fact that, like the main character in the book, Bea has been taken prisoner by a criminal. You can read more about the plot of Great Expectations by clicking the link below. (This annotation contains a link)

Homework #34

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
Why does Alina decide to wield the knife instead of allowing Bea to do it? 
The controls of the tank probably resemble the controls in tanks today.  (This annotation contains a video)

Homework #35

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
Why is Quinn embarrassed? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
What does Silas ask Quinn to do? 
The "zips" must use infrared technology. This is the same technology the police used to capture the Boston Marathon bomber. (This annotation contains a link)

Homework #36

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
Who is Alina really trying to convince about the tank? 
"The penny drops" is an idiom which means that there has been a realization. Maude realizes that Alina means the Ministry will be looking for the tank. (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
What is hidden under the tank's seat? 
This statement is used so often in film that it has become almost a joke line. In the clip, Dr. Who, Tom Baker, uses the line. (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
What word does Bea use to characterize Alina? 

Homework #37

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
What happens when Silas tries to reduce the oxygen density of Quinn's tank? 
"Reaching an impasse" is an idiom which means encountering a barrier to further progress. Quinn's tank running out of air is an impasse. Silas and Inger have only two choices: kill Quinn or save him. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
What do Inger and Silas find for Quinn? 

Homework #38

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4
To what does Bea compare the building? 
In America, soccer is growing in popularity.  (This annotation contains an image)
This is a theme in this novel. People are willing to die so that others may have a better life. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
What problem does Bea have? 

Homework #39

"Worst case scenario" is an idiom meaning the worst possible situation. There are actually books, board games, and TV shows based on trying to figure out how to get out of worst case scenarios.  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
What does Quinn see from the roof? 
This statement is a metaphor. This is a direct comparison between the General's voice and ice. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
What do the soldier's spray on the grass? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
Explain how Inger dies. Cite specific information from the text. 

Homework #40

Bea is suffering from a mild case of hypoxia. Hypoxia and anoxia are explained in the link below. (This annotation contains a link)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
What does Alina do to save Bea? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
With what is the soccer stadium filled? 
The article shows that humans have the ability to adapt to different environments. (This annotation contains a link)

Homework #41

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
What assumption does Jazz make when she sees Alina? 
Biochemistry is the chemistry of living things, like trees and people. All life is linked through chemistry.  (This annotation contains a video)
Meditation is a stress reducing technique that has been used for centuries. The video teaches how to do simple meditation.  (This annotation contains a link)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
What is Alina's explanation for her arrival at The Grove? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
Of what does Petra accuse Alina? 

Homework #42

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
What happens to Bea and Maude? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
What is the key to learning how to breathe lower oxygen levels? 
While free diving is now an extreme sport, it began as a method of fishing. Free divers still harvest various types of shellfish.  (This annotation contains a link)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
Who is considered Petra's pet? 
The Resistance has a cult-like feel. Originally, the word cult referred to a group which deviated from the norm. Petra's group deviates from the norm established by Breathe. Petra is their spiritual leader and holds their lives in her hands. They are afraid of her.  (This annotation contains a link)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
Why does Bea vomit? 
Quiz #2 

Homework #43

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
Given Petra's behavior towards Quinn and Silas, which word best characterizes her? 
Redwood, Poplar, and Sequoia are the names of tree species. 

Homework #44

The Resistance needs to hone its skills in order to have any hope of overpowering the superior forces of the Ministry. Military forces need to practice the skills of war. In the video, the US Army trains soldiers in the basics of shooting. (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
How has Alina's character changed since the beginning of the novel? Cite evidence from the text to support your answer. 
The ten largest soccer stadiums in England hold over 40,000 people each.  (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
What word best characterizes Jazz? 
Inger is a Scandinavian name typically given to girls. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
What word best describes Petra's character at this point in the novel? 

Homework #45

"Baby's Boat" is a lullaby sung to babies and small children.  (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4
Give two examples of figurative language from the highlighted passage. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
What does this statement imply? 

Homework #46

The Symposium is an allusion to Plato's work by the same name. Plato's novel dealt with the various aspects and types of love. This seems to be an appropriate place for Quinn and Bea to discover their love. (This annotation contains an image)
"The apple doesn't fall far from the tree" is an idiom which means that children tend to be like their parents. Petra has judged Quinn to be just like his father. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
What does Jazz do to Bea and Quinn? Why? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
What does Alina think she has gained from her association with Quinn, Bea, and Maude? 

Homework #48

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
How has Bea changed? 
"Over the top" is an idiom that means that something is beyond what is necessary.  (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
How long does Quinn claim to have been walking? 

Homework #49

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
About whom is Maude worried? 
"Buried the hatchet" is an idiom that means to make peace with an enemy. Maude believes she and Alina have buried the hatchet.  (This annotation contains a link)
Maude is referring to the due process given to prisoners in her life before The Switch. Every person had the right to a phone call and a lawyer. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
What emotion does Alina detect in Petra? 

Homework #50

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
Who comes to interview Bea and Quinn? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
What explanation does Quinn give for helping Alina get through the border? 
This phrase is a euphemism for the lecture kids get about sex.  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
What detail does Quinn add to make his story believable? 
Seaweed is edible, and in fact, is readily available in many supermarkets.  (This annotation contains a link)
Jude is a biblical name. Jude the Apostle is the patron saint of lost causes. Time will tell if the name is a foreshadowing of future events.  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
What threat does Quinn's father make? 

Homework #51

Dorian equates the shopping mall with a cathedral. A cathedral is a place of worship. There's the suggestion here that people perhaps worshiped money and possessions before The Switch. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
In what unhealthy habit is Bruce engaging? 
An aria is a solo musical piece. This aria from The Barber of Seville will sound very familiar. (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4
What type of figurative language is being used in the highlighted text? 

Homework #52

Niamh is an Irish name that means bright or radiant. From Quinn's description of her, it is obvious that she doesn't live up to her name. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
What is Quinn's plan for the future? 

Homework #53

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
Why is Bea's mother happy about the romance between Bea and Quinn? 
The video explains the purpose of dental veneers and how they are applied. (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
Why are they leaving their pads behind? 

Homework #54

As the article indicates, cardiovascular exercise helps the body better utilize its oxygen supply. (This annotation contains a link)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
What word best characterizes Jazz? 

Homework #55

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
To whom is Quinn turning for help? 
Quinn's bad feeling is another form of foreshadowing in the story. 
Wanting someone's "head on a plate" is an idiom for wanting revenge or seeking punishment.  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
Who offers to help hide Bea? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
What lie does Quinn tell his father about Bea? 
The acronym RATS is becoming more symbolic as the plot moves. There's an old saying that 'rats flee a sinking ship' and that idiom seems to apply here as the leaders at Breathe try to regain control of the situation. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.2
What truth will Quinn tell? 

Homework #56

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
In what simple pleasure are Dorian, Alina, and Jazz engaging? 
Humans have always looked to the sky to remind us how small we are in comparison. 

Homework #57

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
What is Bea's father willing to do to help her? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
What does Quinn want? 
There are two words for time in Greek: "chronos" and "kairos." Kairos means the opportune time to do something. Quinn has found that opportune time.  (This annotation contains a link)

Homework #58

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
What do the Resistance fighters gather? 
An uzi is an Israeli submachine gun. (This annotation contains an image)

Homework #59

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4
Find two examples of simile in the highlighted section. 
This scene is much like the opening of the televised Hunger Games.  (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
What does the Pod Minister claim he wishes to protect? 
Knavery means dishonesty. The crowds repetition of the name highlights this theme within the novel. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.2
What facts does Quinn reveal in his speech? 
The Pod Minister is trying to imply that Quinn is mentally ill. (This annotation contains a link)
Quinn's statement is reminiscent of an old Bob Marley song, "Get Up Stand Up."  (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
What happens to Bea's parents? 

Homework #60

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.2
What do they see that shocks them? 
The implication is that Jazz becomes rooted like a tree. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4
What type of figurative language is used in this passage? 
In Greek mythology, the sirens led sailors to their deaths. Quinn's father is making the same claim about Alina. He blames her for Quinn's betrayal. (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
What does the general plan to use to destroy The Grove completely? 

Homework #61

Halothane is an anesthetic. The Ministry uses it to put everyone to sleep and regain control.  (This annotation contains a link)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
What is wrong with Bea? 

Homework #62

"Major player" is a sports idiom. When someone is a 'major player' he or she is one of the most important parts of the team. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
For what is Quinn waiting? 

Homework #63

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
What wish does Bea have when she meets Silas' parents? 
This mode of escape has been used in a previous work, Star Wars.  (This annotation contains a video)

Homework #64

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
What does Quinn's father plan to do to him? 
Some people with near death experiences have seen a tunnel with a white light at the end. 

Homework #66

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
What mode of transportation are they using to escape? 
Sequoias are some of the world's largest trees. There is a national park dedicated to their preservation.  (This annotation contains a link)

Homework #67

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
Where are Bea, Quinn, and Jazz going? 
Quiz #3