Here's all I can remember :-

  • It was a sci-fi story but had a horror-taste to it.
  • It was about aliens from some other planet, who tried to invade Earth.
  • The aliens could not (or probably would not) try and control children but instead tried to control adult minds.
  • They tried to do so as they expected the children to obey the adults.
  • At the end (?) some children take a young alien as hostage and somehow realize that the aliens are afraid of wood.
  • When they realize that the aliens are afraid of wood, they are in a tunnel, trying to escape the aliens.
  • It was in book form, but I cannot remember if it was a part of an anthology.
  • This was in the childrens' section of the library and I read it about five years ago.
  • At one point, they are in a treehouse and there are many adults queuing up in a neat line outside and the aliens use their powers over the adults to try and convince the children to come out.
  • Reminds me vaguely of The Green Piper by Victor Kelleher, but I haven't read it for 30 years and now I can't find a plot summary, so I couldn't venture it as a real answer
    – cryptarch
    Commented Feb 10, 2021 at 7:07
  • Was it definitely wood they were scared of, and not electricity? This reminds me a bit of Grinny by Nicholas Fisk, though I think the alien only took over two humans - the main characters' parents.
    – AJM
    Commented May 17 at 14:55

1 Answer 1


Look up the Visitors series by Rodman Philbrick and Lynn Harnett! There are three books: Strange Invaders, Things, and Brain Stealers. My husband told me about the books with this exact description and I scoured the internet.

The following excerpts are from Brain Stealers which can be borrowed (for free but registration required) from the Internet Archive.

The mob surged toward the tree house. They didn't speak but we could hear teeth gnashing.

Very slowly and carefully we tiptoed along the tunnel, afraid even to talk. Dirt sifted down around us and over us like mist. I don't know how long we moved like that, hardly daring to breathe. It seemed like forever. But finally the tunnel seemed to settle.

Frasier pulled a baseball bat out of his pack, his favorite, an old wooden Louisville Slugger. "If any of those slimy creepoid aliens tries to grab us again I'm going to splat 'em like a bowl of Jell-O," he said, strapping his pack on confidently. But his voice cracked with fear.

I thought I did but before I could say it, Frasier said, "Wood! The aliens hate wood! That's why the baseball bat worked."

  • Hi, welcome to the site. Since you found the series, can you provide any more info on the plot, particularly anything that ties into the OP's description? Commented Mar 7 at 2:38

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