Snakebite (After the Dust Settled) by Jonathan Mary-Todd
middle school & up
There's been a massive illness that has affected all the adults. Or more accurately, killed them all. Luckily, some survived long enough to raise their children to an age for taking care of themselves. A group has banded together and remains constantly on the move through the countryside. On their travels they are attacked by a group led by one of the few remaining adults.
This is a pretty good short story. We don't get to see the actual catastrophe or much of its aftermath. Which you know is a little disappointing for me, the disaster freak. Still it is a good read. I found out after I finished that this may be part of a series. If I had known I would have read the others first. Thanks to my fave site Fantastic Fiction I now know that this one should've been third. Although it seems they all came out the same month.
At any rate, hand this book (and its fellows) to any reluctant reader boys you might have in middle school. They'll like them because they're short, uncomplicated, and have just the right amount of action.