Liz at A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy suggests that we reach back in our memories and give books published prior to 2008 for Christmas this year. And let's make the books titles that were overlooked. An excellent idea, and I'm not just saying that because she mentions me in her post.
Pre-2008 books I'm considering giving this year:
Charley's War, a graphic novel about a British soldier during World War I by Pat Mills and Joe Colquhoun. The book is the story of a sixteen-year-old boy who lies about his age in order to join the army. Though not kidlit, this 2005 book originally appeared as some sort of serial in the 1970s in a comic book called Battle or Battle Picture Weekly (it seems to have changed over the years), which may have been marketed to boys. Charley's War may be a big deal within the graphic novel world, but I only just discovered it, myself, while reading Graphic Novels. I'm considering it for a family member who is into comics and has recently discovered the First World War.
The Penderwicks (2005) and The Penderwicks on Gardam Street (2008) both by Jeanne Birdsall. Okay, the second book isn't pre-2008, but I'm thinking about doing a set. And, okay, The Penderwicks can hardly be described as overlooked since it won the National Book Award. But award-winning books are not necessarily widely known outside that circle of people who pay attention to that sort of thing. According to some of my on-line sources, these aren't books that circulate a lot in libraries, so the young girl I'm definitely getting them for might not find them on her own.
The first volume of Octavian Nothing (2006) by M. T. Anderson. For a similiar reason I'm planning to buy this one for a hostess gift. I know, I know, Octavian Nothing I was another National Book Award winner. How much support does it need? However, the question of whether or not this book should have been published as YA has been raised a couple of times at my listservs. And there are some doubts as to how readable YAs find it. I'm one of those who think there's a good argument for it as an adult novel, and I wonder if it's really finding its readership sitting neglected in the YA department (as it is at my local library). So I'm buying it for the couple who are hosting a Christmas party I'm attending next month. I like this book as a gift idea for a couple because I think it will go over well with either sex.