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Part of Jin's job is to pick out picture books for the Skokie (IL) Library and to read to children so it was assumed that she would be ideal for Caldecott. Even the person who nominated her told the American Library Association Jin would be great for the Caldecott Committee.
"When I got the e-mail that said, 'Congratulations, you're on the ballot,' it didn't say Caldecott, it said Newbery," Jin recounted about her surprise. Once that surprise wore off, however, she contemplated the possibility of being on Newbery even if more work would be involved.
"I don't get paid to do this, it's all volunteer, and I still have to work at my job full-time" she recently told gifted fifth-grade students at Skokie's Fairview South Elementary School. "But I thought to myself that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Fifteen people get to change a person's life."