In Code Name Verity (and this isn't a spoiler) the Maddie Character is Jewish, though it has comparatively little bearing on the story considering the WWII setting. And your spoiler friendly peeps are right, and you have to read this book :D
I'll also second the plugs for Nalo Hopkinson, and N. K. Jemisin. I've read Brown Girl In The Ring by the former, and The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by the latter.
And I'd also want to add Nnedi Okorafor, specifically Who Fears Death, though I'm sure the rest of her work that I haven't got to yet is also good.