Are We Alone?: The Alien Invasion into Youth Literature

Selected and annotated by Alice Mitchell
September 2014


Capetta, Amy Rose. Entangled. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013. 330p. Gr. 9-12.
Cade grew up alone with only Noise in her head for company, so she is alarmed when Noise stops as a result of a boy, Xan, waking up from a coma.  When Xan is abducted by aliens, Cade teams up with a slew of intergalactic characters to rescue him.

Castellucci, Cecil. Tin Star. Roaring Brook, 2014. 233p. Gr. 7-10.
As part of a human colony looking for a new home, Tula adores their leader, Brother Blue.  After Tula uncovers Brother Blue’s secret, he attacks her, leaving her for dead on an isolated, alien space station where she recovers and thrives among the aliens.  Years later when other humans arrive at the station, Tula discovers that they might hold the key to getting her revenge.

Fearing, Mark. Earthling!; written and illus. by Mark Fearing. Chronicle, 2012. 248p. Gr. 4-6.
Bud is so nervous on his first day of school that he accidentally boards the wrong bus, which takes him deep into space to Cosmos Academy.  He makes friends with his classmate Gort, while keeping his humanity a secret and trying to find a way back home among Earth-hating aliens.

Hale, Shannon. Dangerous. Bloomsbury, 2014. 405p. Gr. 7–9.
Quiet Maisie wins a spot at astronaut training camp, not knowing until she arrives how much danger she is in.  As everyone is infected by alien nanites, her friends begin to die off, but Maisie adjusts well to her new powers, enjoying newfound brilliance and romance, until she realizes that she might be the only one capable of saving Earth.

Hatke, Ben. Zita the Spacegirl; written and illus. by Ben Hatke. First Second/Roaring Brook, 2011. 184p. Gr. 3-6.
Zita never needed to act heroic until the day she opened a vortex to another planet and her best friend, Joseph, was sucked inside.  Throwing herself in after him, she discovers that their new planet is set to be destroyed by asteroids in mere days and Joseph is unfortunately imbedded in a Scriptorian legend meant to save the planet.

Jury, Walter. Scan; by Walter Jury and S. E. Fine. Putnam, 2014. 336p. Gr. 9-12.
When Tate’s demanding scientist father dies (heroically), Tate finally gains access to his dad’s secrets and high-tech lab.  He learns that aliens, H2s, have quietly invaded Earth and there are very few remaining humans anymore.  Utilizing the training his father put him through, Tate helps defend the human survivors from the H2s.

Klass, David. Stuck on Earth. Foster/Farrar, 2010. 227p. Gr. 6-9.
The destruction of the Lugonian sun forced them to go in search of a new home, and their sights are set on Earth.  Though Tom has formerly been the abused and despised target of bullies, the future of the human race lies in his head when Ketchvar III, member of the Galactic Confederation, takes over his body.  Ketchvar has been sent to determine whether Earthlings offer anything to the intergalactic balance, or if they can be annihilated.

Landers, Melissa. Alienated. Hyperion, 2014. 344p. Gr. 8–12.
Cara is one of three lucky high schoolers who get to host exchange students from L’eihr to help facilitate an alliance between L’eihr and Earth.  L’eihrian Aleax grows increasingly close to Cara, despite his secret plans to thwart the alliance and the narrow-mindedness of Cara’s hometown and school.  As their romance develops, intolerance grows until Aleax and Cara are forced to make decisions that could doom their planets.

Lore, Pittacus. I Am Number Four. Harper/HarperCollins, 2010. 440p. Gr. 6-9.
As one of nine children rescued from planet Lorien after an attack from an alien race, “John” passes as an ordinary kid on Earth and studies his legacy (supernatural powers) that develops as he grows.  The nine were raised to fight the Mogadorians when they were old enough, but now they are being discovered and assassinated as the Mogadorians plot to conquer Earth.

North, Phoebe. Starglass. Simon, 2013. 439p. Gr. 7-12.
Class tensions on the vessel Asherah are boiling as the ship with the last of Earth’s inhabitants reaches its final destination after five hundred years.  Rebellion is stirring and Terra Fineberg, who lives with her increasingly unstable father, is unwillingly pulled in.  Terra now finds herself stuck between what her father wants and what she wants, and she struggles to differentiate her own desires from those of the rebellion.

Smallcomb, Pam. Earth to Clunk; illus. by Joe Berger. Dial, 2011. 32p. 5-8 yrs.
When his teacher assigns him Clunk as an alien pen-pal, a boy uses this unwanted opportunity to send away his sister, only to be gifted a clingy Zoid in return.  When the boy sends dirty socks, Clunk responds with three Forps smelling like dog food.  Their correspondence continues like this until Clunk sends back the boy’s sister, gaining the boy’s admiration and an invitation to sleepover.

Smith, Clete Barrett. Aliens on Vacation; illus. by Christian Slade. Disney Hyperion, 2011. 251p. (The Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast) Gr. 4–6.
Scrub is less than excited about spending the summer with his grandmother at her Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast until he learns that her guests are actually disguised aliens looking for fun on a primitive planet.  Scrub finally fits in as he guides the “tourists” around and defends the secret of his grandmother’s B&B.

Walden, Mark Earthfall. Simon, 2013. 265p. Gr. 7-10.
After an invasion of alien robots, Sam has desperately eked out a living underneath London hiding from the aliens and their brainwashed human slaves.  He meets a group of teenagers who want to fight back and a group of adults who know more than they’re letting on about the aliens and Sam’s origins.

Wallenfels, Stephen. Pod. Namelos, 2010. 212p. Gr. 8-10.
When thousands of silver pods descend on Earth, zapping away everyone in their wake, the remaining humans are forced to hide indoors.  While Megs’ water and food supplies dwindle in an LA parking garage, Josh and his father grow increasingly hungrier in their own home.  Both teens face the choice between starving in hiding, or finding out what happens when the aliens zap you away: transportation or disintegration.

White, Ruth. You’ll Like It Here (Everybody Does). Delacorte, 2011. 258p. Gr. 5-7.
Meggie and her family are aliens hiding on Earth, but when their neighbors start to suspect something, the family flees.  Unable to return to their original pollution-ridden planet, they start again in Fashion City, a place that everyone loves—a message reinforced by mind-altering drugs.  The reality behind Fashion City means Meggie and her family have to move again, if they can live long enough to escape.

Yancey, Rick. The 5th Wave. Putnam, 2013. 457p. Gr. 9-12.
Living in a refugee camp after the fourth wave of an alien invasion, Cassie is grateful that her father and brother are with her, until the day when the military kills her father and kidnaps her brother under the guise of a rescue mission.  After an alien hunter attacks her, the mysterious Evan Walker saves her and she discovers a terrible secret.

Yansky, Brian. Alien Invasion and Other Inconveniences. Candlewick, 2010. 227p. Gr. 8-10.
The telepathic Sanginians have killed most humans and enslaved the rest, including snarky Jesse.  Jesse teams up with an odd group of teens including an overachiever, an athlete, a model, and the non-telepathic girl who is the mistress of the Sanginian leader, with the hopes that they can overthrow their alien overlords using the Sanginians’ ego to their advantage.