Many books that are considered HOL appropriate deal with coming of age as a theme. I just finished a book called Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder which has that theme hidden in it.
Nine children are allowed on the island at a time. Each year, a boat brings in a toddler, or the new Care, and the Elder, the oldest child, gets in the boat and must leave. This is one of biggest rules on this island. The new Elder then takes the Care and teaches them the rules of the island and how to do important things that they must learn to fend for themselves and help out their community.
The whole story is weaved in a mystery and it started making sense when a certain event occurs. With some metaphorical writing going on, the story teaches an important lesson about moving on when the time comes. We can't stay children and innocent forever. Sometimes life forces us to leave our protective island and if we stay, we only upset the world around us.
What are your thoughts on coming of age stories? Do you enjoy them? Do you have any you would recommend? I am a fan of them personally since I sometimes need the reminder that growing up isn't perfect. It sucks, but it has to happen.