Forget the Hunger Games. A Canticle for Leibowitz is the grandaddy of all post-apocalyptic novels. In it, Walter M. Miller Jr. eloquently dissects the nature of mankind in a moving manner that is also surprisingly funny.
When you are growing up, there are two institutional places that affect you most powerfully -- the church, which belongs to God, and the public library, which belongs to you. The public library is a great equalizer.