"One Second After" by William R. Forstchen. Will definitely drive home the fact that the government can't be everywhere all the time (i.e., the government can't be Santa when it all collapses). And the novel will challenge him to ask himself, "What would I do, in situations like this?"
And just as entertaining and challenging for adults.
Probably the most depressing book I’ve ever read. The diabetic kid, the nursing home visit...Not to give anything away of course.