What Happens When Aliens and Humans Meet?

Looking up at the stars in the night sky can often make us wonder if there is something out there looking back at us. There is endless scope for the imagination when trying to think of how alien life might look or behave. Talking about aliens and particularly alien-human encounters with children can lead to discussion of outer space, of our own planet and species, and how we might react to the discovery of another life form. Below you will find books for children of all ages that speculate what it might be like if aliens and humans did meet one day. In addition to different stories of aliens both hostile and friendly, there are also a small number of non-fiction titles about the ongoing search for alien life.

Many books published for children explore the topic of alien-human interactions and this list provides only a small sampling. To find more books on alien life and the adventures that occur when they mix with humans try searching in the catalog with the keywords “extraterrestrial beings” or “human-alien encounters” or “unidentified flying objects” in combination with the word “juvenile” to limit the results to children’s books.

Picture Books

Breathed, Berkeley.
Mars Needs Moms! 2007.
Milo doesn’t get it: What’s the big deal about moms? They’re just slave-driving broccoli bullies. Yet they are worshipped the world over! Perhaps even the galaxy over-because here come Martians and they’re after one thing only: moms. Milo’s mom in particular! That’s quite a long way to come for a mom – could it be that Milo has been overlooking something special?
[Education Storage, Center for Children’s Books Q. SE. B741m]

Jeffers, Oliver.
The Way Back Home. 2008.
Stranded on the moon after his extraordinary airplane takes him into outer space, a boy meets a marooned young Martian with a broken spacecraft, and the two new friends work together to return to their respective homes.
[Education S Collection SE. J355w]

McElligott, Matthew.
Even Aliens Need Snacks. 2012.
Creating snacks that make most humans queasy, a young chef finds a new clientele – aliens.
[Education S Collection Q. SE. M153ev]

Singer. Marilyn.
The Boy Who Cried Alien. 2012.
This is The Boy Who Cried Wolf like you’ve never seen it before: with tentacles, wigs, and a secret code language that kids can decipher. Larry the Liar must help these friendly extra-terrestrials refuel their ship so they can get back home. But will the townspeople believe his intergalactic tale of glory?
[Center for Children’s Books Q. SE. Si643b]

Smallcomb, Pam.
Earth to Clunk. 2011.
For a school assignment, a boy reluctantly writes a letter to Clunk of the planet Quazar, sending his older sister with it, but as more letters and packages are exchanged, he realizes that having an alien pen pal can be fun.
[Center for Children’s Books Q. SE. Sm18ea]

Intermediate Fiction

Beaty, Andrea.
Attack of the Fluffy Bunnies. 2010.
At Camp Whatsitooya, twins Joules and Kevin and new friend Nelson face off against large, rabbit-like creatures from the Mallow Galaxy who thrive on sugar, but are not above hypnotizing and eating human campers.
[Education Storage, Center for Children’s Books S. B381a]

Coville, Bruce.
My Teacher is an Alien. 1989.
Susan can tell that her new substitute teacher is really weird. She doesn’t know how weird until she catches him peeling off his face – and realizes Mr. Smith is really an alien! Now it’s up to Susan and her friends to get rid of the extraterrestrial visitor.
[SSHEL Oak Street S. C7262m]

Fearing, Mark.
Earthling! 2012.
When Bud gets on the wrong school bus he finds himself at Cosmos Academy on another planet, where Earthlings are considered extremely dangerous – can he conceal his identity as a native of Earth and still manage to find his way home?
[Education S Collection, Center for Children’s Books S. 741.5973 F311e]

Haddon, Mark.
Boom! (Or 70,000 Light Years). 2010.
When Jim and Charlie overhear two of their teachers talking in a secret language and the two friends set out to solve the mystery, they do not expect the dire consequences of their actions.
[Education S Collection S. H11742b:E2010]

Olander, Johan.
A Field Guide to Aliens: Intergalactic Worrywarts, Bubblonauts, and Other Extraterrestrials. 2010.
Reports the habitat, diet, lifecycle, and other characteristics of a variety of unusual creatures from other planets, as observed and recorded by a monstrologist.
[Education Storage S.Ol11fi]

Rex, Adam.
The True Meaning of Smekday. 2007.
When her mother is abducted by aliens on Christmas Eve (or “Smekday” Eve since the Boov invasion), 11 year-old Tip hops in the family car and heads south to find her and meets an alien Boov mechanic who agrees to help her and save the planet from disaster.
[Education Storage, Center for Children’s Books S. R329t]

Scieszka, Jon.
Spaceheadz. 2010.
On his first day at Brooklyn’s P.S. 858, fifth-grader Michael K. is teamed with two very strange students, and while he gradually comes to believe they are aliens who need his help, he has trouble convincing anyone else of the truth.
[Education S Collection, Center for Children’s Books S. Sci27sp]

Smith, Clete Barrett.
Aliens on Vacation. 2011.
Unhappy at being sent to stay with his grandmother at the inn she operates, The Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast, Scrub discovers that each room is actually a portal to space and the inn’s visitors are aliens who are vacationing on Earth.
[Center for Children’s Books S. Sm537a]

Young Adult

Klass, David.
Stuck on Earth. 2010.
On a secret mission to evaluate whether the human race should be annihilated, a space alien inhabits the body of a bullied fourteen-year-old boy.
[Center for Children’s Books S. K666s]

Lore, Pittacus.
I am Number Four. 2010.
In rural Ohio, friendships and a beautiful girl prove distracting to a fifteen-year-old who has hidden on Earth for ten years waiting to develop the Legacies, or powers, he will need to rejoin the other six surviving Garde members and fight the Mogadorians who destroyed their planet, Lorien.
[Education S Collection, Center for Children’s Books S.L885i, Uni High Fiction L885i]

Stohl, Margaret.
Icons. 2013.
After an alien force known as the Icon colonizes Earth, decimating humanity, four surviving teenagers must piece together the mysteries of their pasts – in order to save the future.
[Center for Children’s Books S.St66i, Uni High Fiction St66i]

Teague, Mark.
The Doom Machine. 2009.
When a spaceship lands in the small town of Vern Hollow in 1956, juvenile delinquent Jack Creedle and prim, studious Isadora Shumway form an unexpected alliance as they try to keep a group of extraterrestrials from stealing eccentric Uncle Bud’s space travel machine.
[Center for Children’s Books S. T221d]

Yancey, Rick.
The 5th Wave. 2013.
Cassie Sullivan, the survivor of an alien invasion, must rescue her young brother from the enemy with help from a boy who may be one of them.
[Uni High Fiction Y15f]


Herbst, Judith.
Aliens. 2005.
Investigates several well-known accounts of alien abduction as well as theories aimed at explaining why such reports cannot be true.
[Education Storage S.001.942 H417a]

Skurzynski, Gloria.
Are We Alone? Scientists Search for Life in Space. 2004.
In this rare combination of engaging narrative and factual information, the author uses techniques she’s developed as a fiction writer to energize her science writing. This book not only brings the reader into the world of extra-terrestrial science, but is also about the hopes and dreams of real people searching for E.T. Who knows? Maybe there’s an alien as close as next-door, a next-door planet that is!
[Education Storage, Center for Children’s Books S. 576.8 Sk76a]