American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang (2006 National Book Award Finalist: Young People's Literature.) A graphic novel about a Chinese-American boy in an all-American school. I don't read graphics much, but this one is great.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (2008 National Book Award Winner, Young People's Literature.) This book has been makin' waves: a story about an American-Indian teen caught between the white world and the reservation.
Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz (2008 Newbery Award Winner.) A story told in monologues from different people in a medieval village.
The White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean (2008 Michael Printz Award Winner.) The story of a girl's journey to Antartica with her uncle.