My teacher back in primary read the class a book about an orphan boy that somehow gets like a ticket or something to go test a game by a famous video game maker. There are several kids there, that the main character (the boy) makes friends with, one or two of which were female, the others male, and they basically teleport through this big machine into an alternate universe, which the main character is originally from (I think his last name is Equinox) and they go into the other universe that the gamer supposedly "made" and solve puzzles and stuff. I'm sorry I can't be more descriptive, this is all that I remember really.

The main character is dyslexic I'm pretty sure, and everyone at his school and orphanage hates him.

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    When where you in primary school? Do you remember which grade? Do you remember anything about the length of the book?
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented May 10, 2016 at 12:30

2 Answers 2


Is it the same series mentioned in this question?

Book Ident.? About kids getting sucked into video game

It appears to meet all the criteria, though Equinox is the last name of the boy, not the creator.

The Serpents of Arakesh

Twelve-year-old orphan Adam Equinox is an unlikely hero - a lonely, misunderstood underacheiver who gets into fights, and whose spelling has to be seen to be believed. One day Adam enters the Quest Golden Opportunity Competition, with the ultimate prize of working with the reclusive software genius Quentin Quested, test-driving his latest top-secret breakthrough in computer game technology. Adam is unbelievably chosen to undergo the final selection process. At Quested Court, Adam enters a world he never dreamed existed. A world of kindly adults and potential friends, in which the boundaries between fantasy and reality start to become blurred. Only when Adam and his companions begin the gaming workshop does Quentin Quested reveal their real-life quest into the parallel world of Karazan, where the Serpents of Arakesh stand guard over the most precious prize of all.


Have you looked at "The Last Starfighter"? There is a film as well, but I'm more familiar with the novelization, which was published in 1984 by Dean Foster.

In the story, there is a boy, who plays a video game really well, wins, and is recruited by the game's creator to play it for real - since the game was really intended to be a recruitment device. He meets and befriends several other people (I think mostly kids/young adults, but I don't recall gender) who were recruited in the same way, travel to the creator's galaxy (in a big machine, sure), and use their skills to pilot the starfighters to fight & win the war. It seems like a decent match.

Things that don't match quite as well - the game maker (Centauri, not Equinox) is an alien, and they go via spaceship to another galaxy, not via game machine to another universe. They are also recruited to fight, since the game is about starfighters, rather than solving puzzles. The boy is not an orphan, but lives in a trailer park (and wants out); he has a family, but one that doesn't have much time for him.

Not sure this is the right one, but looked close enough to offer. I hope it helps!

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