Every year since 2007 Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) section of the American Library Association (ALA) has created both a long list and a top ten list of "great graphic novels for teens". You can see all the lists here. Previously they had included some graphic novels on their "best books for young adults" lists.
I was recently invited to give a guest lecture on the history of comics and graphic novels for children and young adults, and upon looking at these lists realized that I had read less than half of the book on the top ten lists (and hadn't even heard of others!). As a so called "expert" on graphic novels in libraries I didn't really think that this was appropriate, and decided to read as many of the volumes that I hadn't read as possible.
I'll be reviewing them as I read (or reread) them, and this page will eventually contain links to all the books from 2009. Here's the full list of nominations from 2009, and the top ten list. They occasionally have weird formatting or credits.
Life Sucks by Jessica Abel, Gabriel Soria, and Warren Pleece.
Sand Chronicles (Volumes 1-3) by Hinako Ashihara.
Atomic Robo: Atomic Robo and the Fightin' Scientists of Tesladyne by Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener.
Real (Volumes 1-2) by Takehiko Inoue.
Uzumaki (Volume 1) by Junji Ito.
Pitch Black by Youme Landowne and Anthony Horton.
Japan Ai: A Tall Girl’s Adventures in Japan by Aimee Major Steinberger.
Skim by Mariko Tamaki and Jilliam Tamaki
Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba.
Cairo by G. Willow Wilson and M. K. Perker.