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No Coins, Please

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No Coins, Please
File:No Coins, Please.jpg
Cover (1984 PB edition)
AuthorGordon Korman
PublisherScholastic Canada Ltd.
Publication date
Media typePrint (Hardcover)
ISBN0-590-33466-2 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png.

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No Coins, Please is a 1984 children's novel by Gordon Korman.[1] The book is was rated 4.3 out of 5 by Goodreads [2] and recommended for grades 6-8, and 820L on the Lexile measure.[3]


Juniortours is an outfit that drives children across America during the summer months. When Group Ambulance's Artie Geller, a precocious 11-year-old con artist from Montreal signs on, Rob and Dennis find they have more than the usual summer job on their hands. From the streets of New York City to the casinos of Las Vegas, Artie proves as slippery as ever.

Tour stops
  1. New York City, NY. In his first scheme, Artie sells repackaged grape jelly for $10 a jar under the title "Attack Jelly" and makes his first fortune. He invests all but fifteen cents in the first stage ($74.85 in the 1984 editions) by purchasing 30 individual packages, leashes, and printed materials. Although his first customer realizes the improbability of "Attack Jelly", Artie's patter convinces him to make the sale.
  2. Washington, DC. In the second scheme, Artie buys several toy race tracks and assorted hazards for $500, setting it up on Capitol Hill in a complicated, randomized route, making it impossible to predict the winning car. After first demonstrating a race without the hazards in play, he then convinces senators, congressman and other government officials to place bets, paying out three-to-one for the winning car. One Senator ends up losing all his money during the ensuing series of races, with the car he selects often stopped by a motorized moose.
  3. Pittsburgh, PA. Tours U.S. Steel factory and research laboratory.
  4. Columbus, OH. During the night, the Road Hogs paint red crosses on the side of The Ambulance van, resulting in a police escort to Columbus General Hospital.
  5. Chicago, IL. After he charts their biorhythms, the group follows Nick's lead and have an extremely lucky day together.
  6. Ogallala, NE. In the third scheme, Artie rents six cows from a local dairy farmer for three days at $500 and employs the other boys as "cow experts" at $50 each to help him run a "no-frills" milk store. Customers of the store are charged $1 a minute to milk a cow, usually resulting in less than a teaspoon of milk. Artie's confidence and the difficulty of milking a cow makes him thousands of dollars. Rob and Dennis first learn about Artie's schemes in Ogallala, but are distracted by the farmer's daughters, Angie and Linda, who are escorting the cows.
  7. Denver, CO. Artie disappears for several days. During this time he transforms an abandoned pretzel factory into a world-class discothèque, drumming up publicity through mysterious advertising. He refers to himself cryptically as the proprietor, "A". Under this nom de plume, he sends invitations to many prominent celebrities and negotiates with bars and restaurants to run concessions, promising good traffic in return for a cut of their proceeds. After the opening night, he shuts it all down and flees with over $60,000.
  8. Albuquerque, NM. After a Road Hog trips Sheldon and Byron refers to Artie as a weirdo and freak, the Ambulance Group (minus Artie, who has left to visit a bank) and the Road Hogs engage in a fistfight, with the Road Hogs winning. Artie negotiates a truce with the Road Hogs using his personal charisma.
  9. Grand Canyon, AZ. FBI agents Newman and O'Reilly finally connect the string of fraudulent schemes with the Juniortours travel itinerary and leave for Las Vegas to intercept Group Ambulance.
  10. Las Vegas, NV. In his fifth scheme, Artie disguises himself as an old man and wins tens of thousands of dollars at nine different casinos, playing blackjack and counting cards. Artie is accompanied after the first casino by director Butcher, who admires Artie's ability and receives the drinks sent to Artie by the casinos. When the FBI move in to arrest Artie at the last casino, Group Ambulance accidentally cause a distraction in the lobby, and Artie flees to McCarran Airport. The FBI agents catch Artie after he has boarded a flight to Toronto with his winnings. They eventually agree to drop all criminal charges in exchange for payment of fines totaling $149,922.04 (in the 1984 editions, $149,764.04, which leaves him with $77.96, a net profit of $2.96).
  11. Los Angeles, CA. Since Artie is now under FBI surveillance, he convinces the other boys to carry out his five previous schemes simultaneously. In the 1984 editions, Artie prepares to relaunch "Attack Jelly" to protect the citizens of Los Angeles with the help of his fellow campers in Group Ambulance.

List of charges[edit]

[...] in New York, New York, selling without a license, false advertising, contravention of FDA standards and violation of state sales tax laws; in Washington, D.C., running an illegal gaming house, misuse of public property, inciting to riot and littering; at the Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area, Nebraska, defacing public property, bringing livestock into a state park without a permit, operating a dairy without proper health inspection, operating a store without a license, selling unpasteurized milk in unsanitary containers, involving minors in an illegal operation and evasion of state taxes; in Denver, Colorado, appropriation of a private building without permission, subsequently causing approximately twenty-eight hundred cases of trespassing, performance of unauthorized alterations on said building, failure to pay electric, water and telephone bills incurred, selling food and liquor without a license, price-fixing, operating a discotheque without a license, violation of local fire marshal's laws, maintaining a salried staff without withholding appropriate tax and social security deductions, violation of state advertising laws, littering, disturbing the peace, numerous counts of generally immoral business practises and evasion of state taxes; in Las Vegas, Nevada, gambling underage, leaving the scene of a crime and attempting to flee the country. In addition to all this there's total failure to pay federal income tax and responsibility of all damages to the Las Vegas Hotel Gunhold incurred in the events leading up to capture, including the cost of two abdominal x-rays.

— FBI Agent Newman, No Coins, Please[4]

Cast of Characters[edit]

Ambulance Group[edit]

The Ambulance Group is from Montreal, and is one of the Canadian groups participating in Juniortours for the first time. Dennis suggests the group could be called the Monsters, or, drawing from the color of the van they have been assigned, White Lightning or White Tornado. Sheldon suggests Old Betsy; Kevin suggests the Rovers; Nick suggests the Horseshoes; and in jest, Rob suggests The Ambulance, which is enthusiastically accepted as the group breaks into a spontaneous siren wail/cheer.

  • Rob Nevin - Juniortours counselor, 18. Talked into job by Dennis, Rob wanted a nice quiet painting job. Grows to genuinely care for the boys, but has a short fuse for Artie whose disappearing acts mystify and annoy him.
  • Dennis Leaver - Juniortours counselor, 18. Overly enthusiastic and utterly unrealistic describe Dennis to a tee. He is delighted with the kids but dismayed with the group name Ambulance, and can't seem to understand why he can't spend all his time hitting on girls and buying souvenirs.
  • Arthur "Artie" Geller, 11 - Calm and placid on the surface, Artie is secretly a hustler who transforms $200 ($75 in the 1984 editions) into $150,000. Gets caught, makes restitution, ends up with $200.15 ($77.96 in the 1984 editions).
  • Sheldon, 11 - Homesick, has an obsession with his "best friend"/surrogate brother, a 21-year-old man named Pete Ogrodnick who recently moved to Finland. Pete has, according to Sheldon, done everything and done it best.
  • Howie, 11 - A goofy, likeable blond kid obsessed with outer space. Always wanting to go to a planetarium or observatory, and willing to nag for it.
  • Nick, 11 - Nick sleeps with a rabbit foot. An extremely superstitious boy, he insists that they avoid anything unlucky like the number 13 (or if 13 is omitted, the number 14.) Although it does pay off when the group is in Chicago.
  • Kevin, 11 - a shutterbug. Always takes hundreds of pictures of everything, and can't figure out why he can't lug his camera into museums and shows.
  • Sam, 11 - obsessed with fairness and civil liberties, does not hesitate to come to the defense of friends who are wronged. Willing to engage in fisticuffs to address those wrongs.


  • Charlie Butcher - executive tour director of Juniortours for the past five years. Hates children and the counselors, but loves going to Las Vegas. Drunkenly spilled his guts to the disguised Artie about who and what he hates while the two were gambling together in Las Vegas.
  • Road Hogs - male Juniortours group from Bridgeport, CT (counselors Byron and Darryl). Rivals of the Ambulance group in romance and pranks, which eventually lead to a fight in Albuquerque, which the Road Hogs win.
  • Pink Panthers - female Juniortours group from Boston. Rob and Dennis's plans for romance in New York are thwarted by the Road Hogs.
  • Bluebirds - female Juniortours group (counselors Cindy and Vera). Rob and Dennis's plans for romance in Washington DC are thwarted after they are dressed down by Butcher for "abandoning" Artie.
  • Rhode Island Reds - female Juniortours group from Providence, RI (counselors Kathy and Susan). Rob and Dennis's plans for romance in Chicago are thwarted after the Reds contract chicken pox.
  • Agent Frank Newman - FBI
  • Agent Timmy O'Reilly - FBI

References to other works[edit]

  • Hotel Gunhold[5] refers to Gavin Gunhold, the fictitious student from Beware the Fish! and other books in the Macdonald Hall series.

Publication history[edit]


  1. "What Childrens Literature teaches us about money - Gordon Korman's No Coins Please". thebillboard.com. 4 January 2017. Retrieved 25 June 2020.
  2. "Review of No Coins Please". Retrieved 26 June 2020.
  3. "No Coins Please by Gordon Korman". scholastic.com. Retrieved 25 June 2020.
  4. Korman, Gordon (1984). "Adventures of the old guy". No Coins, Please. Scholastic. pp. 179–180. ISBN 0-590-33466-2. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  5. Korman, Gordon (1984). "Adventures of the old guy". No Coins, Please. Scholastic. p. 167. ISBN 0-590-33466-2. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png

External links[edit]


Template:Gordon Korman

This article "No Coins, Please" is from Wikipedia. The list of its authors can be seen in its historical and/or the page Edithistory:No Coins, Please. Articles copied from Draft Namespace on Wikipedia could be seen on the Draft Namespace of Wikipedia and not main one.

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