The Other Normals

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Given the chance, fifteen-year-old Peregrine "Perry" Eckert would dedicate every waking moment to Creatures & Caverns, an epic role-playing game rich with magical creatures, spell casting, and deadly weapons. The world of C&C is where he feels most comfortable in his own skin. But that isn't happening—not if his parents have anything to do with it. Concerned their son lacks social skills, they ship him off to summer camp to become a man. They want him to be outdoors playing with kids his own age and meeting girls—rather than indoors alone, with only his gaming alter ego for company. Perry knows he's in for the worst summer of his life.

Everything changes, however, when Perry gets to camp and stumbles into the World of the Other Normals. There he meets Mortin Enaw, one of the creators of C&C, and other mythical creatures from the game, including the alluring Ada Ember, whom Perry finds more beautiful than any human girl he's ever met. Perry's new otherworldly friends need his help to save their princess and prevent mass violence. As they embark on their quest, Perry realizes that his nerdy childhood has uniquely prepared him to be a great warrior in this world, and maybe even a hero. But to save the princess, Perry will have to learn how to make real connections in the human world as well.

Bestselling author Ned Vizzini delivers a compulsively readable and wildly original story about the winding and often hilarious path to manhood.

Curriculet Details
78 Questions
80 Annotations
3 Quizzes

This free digital curriculum for middle school students contains interactive videos exploring theme and pacing, as well as annotations describing character development, figurative language, and foreshadowing. Students will explore the themes of friendship and maturation. The Common Core aligned questions, answers and quizzes in this free online unit will increase student engagement in the book while supporting reading comprehension.

The curriculet is being added to your library

Homework #6

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. 
In this instance, "RPG" refers to "role-playing game." Players of these games take on the roles of imaginary characters. These games may be computerized or played at a table top, as shown below in a photo taken at an RPG convention. (This annotation contains an image)

Homework #7

After watching the video below, keep reading and notice how tension develops between the narrator and his brother. (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.3
Which of the following is not revealed about Jake during the bus scene? 

Homework #9

Watch the video below to review imagery. As you read, look for the author's use of imagery to describe scenes in the story. (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.3
The author builds which of the following in the highlighted text? 
Think about the story that Perry tells about his nickname. Can you see a pattern in Perry's interactions with other people? 

Homework #10

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.1
Which of the following best supports the conclusion that Perry and his parents do not communicate effectively? 

Homework #11

Watch the video below to review character development. Perry's assessment of himself at the beginning of Chapter Six gives the reader some clues about his character. As you continue reading, pay attention to the way in which Perry's character develops over time. (This annotation contains a video)

Homework #12

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.1
What inferences can you make about Horace's character from the highlighted text? 

Homework #14

The video below reviews foreshadowing. Is the author hinting at, or foreshadowing, a relationship that will develop during the text? (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.3
Which of the following can the reader deduce about Sam after reading the conversation he has with the narrator? 

Homework #15

Look for details that develop Sam's character. What kind of an environment do his actions tell the reader the Sam comes from? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.1
Based on the shop owner's opinion of Sam and the highlighted exchange he has with Perry, what inference can you make about how Sam obtained the figures? 

Homework #16

Pay attention to the bond developing between Sam and Perry. They not only have similar interests, but in sharing these "uncool" hobbies, they are also sharing secrets. Do secrets between two characters convey a level of trust? 

Homework #17

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.2
Which of the following best summarizes the interactions between Sam and Perry thus far? 

Homework #18

You should already see some themes emerging in the text as you read about Perry. To review theme, watch the video below. (This annotation contains a video)

Homework #19

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.6
Which of the following is not a difference in Perry's point of view and his parent's point of view that contributes to the conflict in this chapter? 

Homework #21

The highlighted text is an example of situational irony, when an outcome is the opposite of what one's expectations predict. Perry is disappointed because the camp isn't as impressive as he was led to believe. 

Homework #22

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.4
Based on the text, which of the following is the best definition of a nuclear family unit? 
The highlighted text is important because it signals a turning point in the story. How is Perry vulnerable in this moment? 

Homework #24

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.2
All of the following contribute to Perry's anxiety and disappointment regarding Camp Lake Washiska except  
Although Perry's parents have good intentions for him, can you see how they contribute to the pressure he feels to meet expectations? 

Homework #25

The highlighted text is an example of external conflict in the story. View the video below to review the difference between internal and external conflict. (This annotation contains a video)

Homework #26

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.1
Based on the highlighted text, what can the reader infer has just happened to Perry? 
A peregrine is a type of falcon. You can see one pictured below. (This annotation contains an image)

Homework #28

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.3
Why does Perry make a joke about the fire extinguisher? 
The highlighted text is an example of an idiom, a phrase which is not meant to be taken literally. To paint someone into a corner means to put him or her in a difficult situation. Other examples of idioms are "it's raining cats and dogs" and "break a leg." 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.3
What does Anna mean when she tells Perry he's "one of those guys"? 

Homework #29

As you read, notice how the author uses metaphors and similes, such as the highlighted text, to bring the story to life. The video below reviews the difference between similes and metaphors. (This annotation contains a video)

Homework #30

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.6
What effect does the highlighted sentence provide the reader? 
In the early 1990's, the pop music artist Prince changed his name to the unpronounceable symbol in the image below.  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.2
What is the main idea of Chapter 24? 

Homework #31

J. R. R. Tolkien, now deceased, wrote the very successful series The Lord of the Rings. He also authored a number of other books including The Hobbit. (This annotation contains an image)

Homework #32

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.4
The highlighted text is an example of which of the following literary devices? 
Hugh Everett was an American physicist who is best known for proposing the many-worlds interpretation (MWI). This theory is that a large, perhaps infinite, number of universes exist. According to the theory, all possible pasts and futures are real and exist in another universe. This theory is very controversial and many scientists disagree with Everett. (This annotation contains an image)

Homework #33

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.4
The highlighted text is an example of which literary device? 

Homework #35

Watch the video below to review authors' use of pacing. Some parts of this book, such as the beginning of Chapter 28, are paced faster than other parts. Does a faster pace help to make the action more exciting for you as the reader? (This annotation contains a video)

Homework #36

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.1
What sensory details does the author use to describe the experience of crossing over to Mortin's universe? Include at least two quotations in your answer.  
The use of "pirouette" in this sentence is an example of personification since objects cannot perform ballet moves like people can. Figurative language like personification makes the story more colorful and interesting to the reader. 

Homework #37

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.4
After reading the definition of "surreptitiously," write your own sentence using this word correctly. 
In this context, "seminal" refers to something that is important, or that has a strong influence. 
Below, you will see a photograph of an okapi. These unusual-looking animals are native to central Africa. (This annotation contains an image)

Homework #38

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.3
The author includes the highlighted quote to  
Although Mortin can be a stern character and sometimes lacks patience with Perry, details such as the highlighted text reveal to the reader that he does have compassion for the main character. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.1
Which of the following of Ryu's quotations do not contribute to the idea that he is a hostile, disagreeable character? 

Homework #39

MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, is a medical technique which uses radiowaves and magnetics to form images of the body to diagnose disease and injury. An MRI scanner is pictured below. (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.4
Based upon the context, which of the following provides the best definition of seditious? 

Homework #40

Notice how the author includes various sensory details, such as smell, to describe the ingresses. Does this aid you in imagining the creatures? 

Homework #41

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.3
What does the appearance of the three officers reveal about Ryu? 
The reader can infer that by gathering some of the splinters, Perry will be able to use these objects to help himself or others later in the story. Perry's acquisition of the splinters would be an example of foreshadowing. 

Homework #43

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.6
How does the point of view affect the scene in Subbenia? 
The reader can infer from the highlighted text that Gamary has made the decision to report Perry and his companions in the hope of taking care of his sick daughter. Recall a few chapters earlier when Gamary worried about Mortin's illicit behavior because he needed to stay out of trouble so that he could be responsible for his ailing daughter.  

Homework #44

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.3
Which of the following does not contribute to the tension in the story? 
The Red Sea, shown in the map below, is an inlet that lies between Africa and Asia. It is approximately 1,400 miles long and is part of the Indian Ocean. (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.1
In order to kiss Anna and save Ophisa, will Perry need to display the qualities of a static character or a dynamic character? Use evidence from the text to support your answer. 

Homework #45

Being in extreme situations is beginning to affect Perry and shape his character. In the past, he never would have had the confidence to ask to kiss a girl. As you continue reading, keep watching for signs that Perry's character is developing. 
Quiz One 

Homework #46

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.4
Which of the following best describes the tone of the highlighted text? 

Homework #47

"Tumescent" refers to something swollen or enlarged. The narrator is using a simile to compare Officer Tendrile to a giant insect. 

Homework #48

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.3
What kind of pacing does the author use to propel the action during Chapter 40? Please explain your answer. 
A homonym is a word with more than one meaning. "Contingent" is an example of such a word. Sometimes, this word refers to a situation in which one thing is dependent upon another. For example, your test grade may be contingent upon how much you study. In this case, however, "contingent" refers to a group of people with something in common. For example, there may be a contingent of guards or a contingent of businessmen. 

Homework #49

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.3
Which of the following does the highlighted quote reveal about Perry? 
The Other Normals has a parallel plot because there is a story which takes place within the "real world," as well as a story which takes place within a fantasy universe. Perry is a common factor between the two plots because he is able to travel between both realities. Watch the video below to learn more about parallel plots. (This annotation contains a video)

Homework #50

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.3
Which of the following is revealed about Perry during this chapter? 

Homework #52

Think back to the video you watched at the beginning of the book which reviewed internal and external conflict. During the beginning of Chapter 43, Perry is facing both kinds of conflict. Brainstorm and think of some of the many conflicts he is facing at this moment. 

Homework #54

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.4
Why does the author capitalize "Intelligence"? 
If you remember back to Perry's original infirmary visit, he did indeed receive an ice pack for a black eye. The reader is left to assume that something which happened in the World of the Other Normals somehow slightly altered history back on Earth. 

Homework #55

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.2
Which of the following is a recurring theme in the story? 

Homework #57

In the image below, you can see a Tibetan yurt, which would be similar to the tent that Perry and the other campers are sleeping in.  (This annotation contains an image)

Homework #58

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.3
The highlighted text indicates that Sam feels which of the following emotions about attending camp? 

Homework #59

The reader hasn't been given a solid reason to dislike Dale, but the author keeps portraying him with strong negative language, indicating that he is a character to be wary of. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.2
Which of the following best describes the majority of Perry's interactions with his peers? 

Homework #60

Sam seems to be experiencing a lot of internal conflict: embarrassment over his RPG-based relationship with Perry, shame over attending a low-income camp, and concern about hanging out with a camp newcomer that started a fight with an old acquaintance. Though he feels conflicted and this affects his actions, how can you tell that Sam is a generally warm-hearted character? 

Homework #62

The highlighted text is an example of a situation in which dramatic irony is used to create humor. The narrator thinks that he is doing a great job dancing, but the reader can tell that his wild moves look a bit ridiculous on the dance floor. 

Homework #63

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.3
The narrator says that his eyes migrate to Anna's face to show the reader that 
Perry finally seems to be able to talk to a female a little more naturally. What recent events may have helped to improve his confidence? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.1
Why does Perry have more incentive to talk to Anna now than he did at the nurse's station? 

Homework #64

Think back to the video you watched about tension. When Perry drops his pants on the dance floor, it is an example of a very tense moment; the mood intensifies and the reader knows that there is about to be a huge conflict. 

Homework #65

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.2
Which of the following would be the most important detail to include in a summary of what happens at the dance? 

Homework #68

Watch the video below to review the difference between protagonists and antagonists. While Perry is clearly the protagonist, there are many different antagonists in the story. As you keep reading, decide which characters could be considered antagonists because they oppose Perry and his companions. (This annotation contains a video)

Homework #69

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.1
Why does Perry feel more comfortable in the World of the Other Normals than in his own world? Use the text to support your answer. 

Homework #70

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.4
What is the best definition of "quarry" as it is used in this particular sentence? 

Homework #72

Below, you will see a photograph of an English moor. The area which the companions are traveling looks something like this. (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.2
The highlighted text best fits with which of the book's themes? 

Homework #73

At this point, the reader finally has an explanation for the bruises that Perry found on his body after waking up on the bathroom floor; they were caused by his correspondent in the World of the Other Normals. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.2
How does the highlighted text illustrate Perry's maturation and growth? 

Homework #75

Although Perry has grown more confident over the course of the story, he still worries a lot about how his peers view him. Even when relaxing with his companions in the World of the Other Normals, he still cannot escape thoughts of being teased. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.4
After using the dictionary to look up "dispensation," construct your own sentence using the term correctly. 
The author uses some foreshadowing here that is none too subtle. What does this foreshadowing signal is in store for Perry and his friends? 

Homework #76

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.4
Which of the following best describes the author's tone in this chapter? 

Homework #77

Notice how the author makes the new character seem very puppy-like and playful. Not only his appearance, but also his mannerisms remind the reader of a young, energetic dog. 

Homework #78

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.3
What is the most likely reason why Mortin tells the dog-boy that Marco Polo is from Subbenia? 

Homework #79

Perry will need to be more cautious about what he chooses to say in front of beings from the World of the Other Normals if he is to go undiscovered at an Earthling. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.1
Which of the following is not a circumstance that brings Ada and Perry closer? 

Homework #80

In the image below, you will see the basic setup for starting a fire in a primitive manner the way that Perry intends to do it. Friction caused by rubbing objects creates heat, which can spark a fire. (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.1
Which of the following is the most likely reason that Perry says he is happier than he can ever remember being? 
Because there is no meat, the reader must assume that Perry and his friends are going to be on the menu at the barbecue. The suddenly tense situation signals that rapid action is to follow. 

Homework #81

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.3
Why is Pula's fate ironic? Explain Mortin's expectations versus the actual outcome of the situation. 
Think about what major fear Perry faces in order to escape from the dog-headed monsters. Do you think he would have been as brave at the beginning of the novel? 

Homework #82

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.4
The highlighted text is an example of which of the following literary devices? 
Mortin reminds Perry of Sam because Sam made a similar comment about honor while he and Perry played Creatures and Caverns back on Earth. Perry believes that Sam and Mortin are mirrors of one another in two different universes. 

Homework #83

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.1
Which of the following is not a characteristic that Officer Tendrile and Dale Blaswell have in common? 

Homework #84

Although Perry was trying to impress Mortin by drinking the night before, he is clearly impressing no one now and seems to regret the way he is feeling. Although Perry has matured some during the course of the story, he still has a lot of growing up to do. 

Homework #85

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.3
Why does Mortin pull his sword on Perry? 
The exchange between Ada and Perry highlights one of the major themes of the novel, learning to deal with the opposite gender. This theme runs parallel in both Perry's life in the World of the Other Normals and his life on Earth. 
Quiz Two 

Homework #87

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.3
What does the highlighted text foreshadow? Think about Mortin's past behavior. 
Tridents, like the one in the image below, are tools for spear-fishing. They are perhaps best known for being the weapon of choice of Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea. (This annotation contains an image)

Homework #88

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.4
Which of the following best defines "lame" as the word is used in this particular sentence? 

Homework #89

Notice how the author uses a metaphor here to help the reader really picture the creature and imagine the striking difference between her head and her body. Although she has the face of an amphibian, her body looks like that of a model. Does the metaphor help you picture the creature more clearly than if the author just stated that the creature had a human body? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.2
Which of the following characters does not suffer from substance abuse? 

Homework #90

A little more is revealed about Ada from this quick interaction. What kind of feelings does the author hint that Ada may have? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.3
What does the highlighted text reveal about Perry? 

Homework #91

This is a major revelation in the story because the reader realizes that everything Perry and his companions have been working towards may have been a lie. Mortin is afraid that the World of the Other Normals is turning into Earth. By including this comment, what is the author saying about the modern world in which people live? 

Homework #92

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.3
What is Perry's internal conflict? 
Perry's honor was once one of his most important qualities. How has he betrayed himself in this scene? 

Homework #93

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.1
Why have Perry's friends decided to trick him and send him back to Earth? Use details from the text to support your answer. 

Homework #95

The video below reviews tone and mood in literature. Notice how the mood in this chapter sharply contrasts with the mood in the previous chapters of the text. (This annotation contains a video)

Homework #96

Perry is referring to psychiatric hospitals, which sometimes feature walls with cushioning over them to keep unstable patients from hurting themselves. Why would he end up in such a place for telling the truth? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.4
Which of the following best describes how the mood has changed from the previous chapter to the current one? 

Homework #97

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.1
Which of the following is not a detail that Perry notices about Jake? 

Homework #98

Think about what advantages Perry has now over the last time he saw Anna. How has he changed? How has the situation changed? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.4
The highlighted text is an example of which type of figurative language? 

Homework #99

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.6
Does the first person point of view make the story easier or harder to relate to than if the story had been written in the third person? Explain your answer. 
Perry is so shocked about the stabbing, he asks if it was something done theatrically. Unfortunately for Perry, Ryu and his henchman have become even tougher than they were before his last visit to the World of the Other Normals. 

Homework #100

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.3
The author uses the highlighted sentence to show that the narrator 
There is some foreshadowing here. What do you think Perry will try to do in the near future? 

Homework #101

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.3
Which of the following is not a reason that Perry is motivated to steal the key? 

Homework #102

Recall that Perry plans to rely on Sam to help him canoe to the girls' side of the lake. It is crucial not only that Sam does not give Perry's trick away, but also that he is willing to help with the next part of the mission. 

Homework #103

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.3
Which of the following best describes Sam's character? 

Homework #104

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.4
Which of the following best describes Sam's tone? 
The reader has already had some clues about Sam's troubled upbringing. He lives in a poor neighborhood, skips school, and tends to hang out with the wrong crowd. At this moment, you can see that lack of involvement by his mother may be partially responsible for his situation. 

Homework #105

War hammers, like the one in the image below, were used as combat weapons during medieval times. The heavy heads of the weapons were meant to combat enemy armor.  (This annotation contains an image)

Homework #106

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.4
Why does Perry describe his return as "ignominious"?  

Homework #107

The beginning of Chapter 94 is an example of a time when there is rising action within the story. Though the story has not yet reached the climax, the most important moment, the reader can feel the text building towards this point. There is a lot of tension and expectation as Sam and Perry perform their secretive mission. The reader also knows that an entire universe depends on whether Perry will be able to kiss Anna. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.4
Which literary device does the author use to describe Anna's hair? 
The tension in the story continues to build as Anna suggests that they break into the camp director's cabin again. Not only is getting caught a strong possibility, but breaking into the cabin is a distraction from Perry's main goal. 

Homework #109

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.1
Which of the following quotes reveals Perry's nervousness? 
Perry begins to realize an internal conflict when he compares the feelings that he has for Ada and the feelings that he has for Anna.  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.3
What does Anna mean to imply by the highlighted quote? 
The reader is able to see that Perry has matured since the beginning of the novel. How he appears to his peers is no longer very important to him. What matters more to Perry is that he stays true to himself, even if it means giving up the opportunity to kiss an attractive girl.  

Homework #110

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.1
Even in tense moments, the author of the novel usually includes some humor. Find a quote in the story that is an example of the author's use of humor during an intense moment. 
Notice how the author uses onomatopoeia to bring the fast-paced fight scene to life. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.4
Which of the following best describes the tone of the text at this moment? 

Homework #111

The reader has yet to find out why Mortin and his companions have come to visit Earth, but can assume that something must be really wrong for them to make the unexpected journey. 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.4
The author uses figurative language to describe which of the following about Ophisa? 

Homework #112

Notice how the author uses negative language to explain even the smallest details of Ophisa's appearance. Does this help make the monster seem more grotesque to you? 

Homework #114

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.3
Which of the following best describes Perry's motivation for charging Tendrile? 

Homework #115

Remember that when the opposite of what is expected occurs, the event is considered ironic. Think about how irony ties in to the princess's actions and appearance.  

Homework #116

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.2
Which sentence best supports the conclusion that Perry has become a brave character? 

Homework #117

Were there some clues during the course of the novel that would have indicated Perry's correspondent before this big reveal? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.3
What does the highlighted text reveal about Ada's feelings? Were there any clues about her feelings towards Perry earlier in the novel? Explain. 

Homework #118

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.4
Which of the following is the best definition of "terrific" as it is used in this sentence? 

Homework #119

Members of the arthropod phylum include crabs, scorpions, spiders, and other animals seen in the image below. (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.4
Which of the following gives the best definition of "keen" as it is used in this particular sentence? 
The image of the insect below can be used to give you a general idea of what a thorax looks like. The thorax is where the monster Ophisa's internal organs are stored. (This annotation contains an image)

Homework #120

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.1
How has Perry changed over the course of the novel? Use textual evidence to support your answer. 

Homework #121

The Tunguska event is the largest impact event to occur on Earth in recorded history. There have been other theories about the event as well, such as the possibility that it was caused by gas released from the Earth's crust instead of being caused by an asteroid. The image below shows some of the trees that were leveled in the event. (This annotation contains an image)

Homework #122

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.3
What is revealed in the highlighted text? 

Homework #123

Quiz Three