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Children's Fiction Values & Virtues

Fifteen Dollars and Thirty-five Cents

A story about choices

by (author) Kathryn Cole

illustrated by Qin Leng

Second Story Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2015
Values & Virtues, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship
Recommended Age
5 to 8
Recommended Grade
1 to 3
Recommended Reading age
6 to 8
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2015
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Download Teacher’s Guide

Where to buy it


When Joseph and Devon find money in the schoolyard the two friends have different thoughts about what they should do. Joseph thinks they should keep it, but Devon thinks they should try to find out who lost it. When he sees their classmate Lin looking upset and looking for the same amount of money they found, he is sure that “finders keepers” isn’t the best rule to follow. But convincing Joseph to do the right thing isn’t going to be easy. How can Devon keep his friend and see that Lin gets her money back?

It takes some courage and resourcefulness, but in the end, Devon proves to be a good friend to both Joseph and Lin. And, even though it was hard, making the right choice makes everyone—especially Joseph—happy.

About the authors

Kathryn Cole has spent a forty-five-year career in children’s books as an illustrator, art director, editor, designer, and publisher, including Editorial Director of Tundra Books. The books she has overseen have won multiple awards, including four Governor General’s Awards. Kathryn volunteered as a support to parents for thirteen years with Boost in their crisis support and court preparation groups. She shares the managing editor role at Second Story Press and lives in Toronto.

Kathryn Cole's profile page

Qin Leng was born in Shanghai, China. At the age of five, she moved with her family to Bordeaux, France, where she spent the next four years. Soon after, she moved to Montreal, where she spent the rest of her childhood. Having been born in Asia but raised in the West, she uses both cultures as her source of inspiration. Looking at her illustrations, one can see the presence of both East and West.Qin Leng comes from a family of artists, where the visual senses have always been of the utmost importance. She grew up watching her father work with acrylics, pastel, and ink. Father and daughter often spent their days drawing side by side. Drawing first started as a hobby, but soon became a way of expression.Despite her many years of study to become a biologist, Qin decided at the age of 20 to follow the same path as her father and enrolled in the School of Cinema to study Film Animation at Concordia University. She has produced animated shorts, which were nominated in various nationa

Qin Leng's profile page

Editorial Reviews

A multi-national cast of kids explore the meaning of the Golden Rule, when Joseph and Devon find money in the schoolyard.... Helpful suggestions for exploring the lessons in "Fifteen Dollars and Thirty-Five Cents" are included at the end of this delightfully illustrated story about doing the right thing.

The Midwest Book Review

Children face moral dilemmas in their lives and to tell or not to tell is a big one. Without being too didactic or prescriptive in its message delivery, the story solves the predicament with sensitivity and nuance... This book is an excellent starting point for discussion with students (Grades 1 to 3) involving character, especially as it pertains to honesty, integrity, respect for people and property, caring, and choosing wisely.

Professionally Speaking

Toronto illustrator Qin Leng presents a diverse cast of characters in publishing veteran Kathryn Cole's latest addition to the I'm a Great Little Kid series... The lessons are clear, but Cole delivers them with style, subtlety, and a dash of humour.

Quill & Quire

The story is simple but gets the point across about making the right choices, about friendship, honesty, and “doing the right thing”, without being too preachy. The cast of characters are diverse and the issues dealt with in the story are ones that kids can relate to.

The Deakin Review of Children's Literature

With the school year just beginning, there will be anxieties and conflicts aplenty on campuses everywhere. The problem of personal property and money gone missing is ever-present. Fifteen Dollars and Thirty-five Cents gets down to the bone of this reality, depicting eventual choices that will help young readers navigate their own right-from-wrong situations. Life lessons aside, the book’s adorable art—innocent kids in a multicultural classroom drawn with beautifully scratchy, sweeping lines and eye-pleasing hues—and juicy drama will keep youngsters transfixed.

Cherub Reviews

Other titles by Kathryn Cole

Other titles by Qin Leng