Well, let's see . . . an easy theme would be that of figuring out who you are and your place in the world, that would allow you to use coming of age type books, but also allow you to look at a number of historically important books.
harry potter and the sorcerer's stone, Catcher in the rye, red badge of courage, Frankenstein (arguably), the amazing power of asher fine, master of the five magics, Weapon, American Gods, Good Omens, One foot in the grave.
as far as a list of books that are contemporaries of each other? no clue.