I love it when I read an award winning book and agree that the award was given for a very good reason.
Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate is one of those books. She won a 2008 SCBWI Golden Kite for this book published in 2007 with Feiwel and Friends.
Written in verse, this middle grade novel captured me from the first lines as Kek, a refugee from Africa, arrives in a "flying boat" in Minnesota and sees all the white, and wonders where the world has gone. Ms. Applegate really made me see and feel not only how hard it is for Kek to adjust, but makes me see and feel his home in Africa. All I can say is WOW!
Katherine Applegate is also the author of the Animorph books, plus she ghost wrote 17 of the Sweet Valley Twins. Read more about this author of many types of books at her website: http://www.katherineapplegate.com/