Ravs & Reviews

"Trapped in a Hot Air Balloon is a wild ride and a glorious read! Author Mark Wainwright weaves believable characters with epic adventures in a story that has a firm foundation in God's truth. Truly a marvelous book! I've already ordered several copies to give to the kids in my life.

Edie Melson

award-winning author of 10 books

Director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference

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"In his novel, Trapped in a Hot Air Balloon, Mark Wainwright tackles a bundle of difficult topics that children often experience—grief, bitterness, anger. Teaching these topics from a biblical perspective instructs children to healthily address these emotional and spiritual challenges rather than stifling them and carrying them into adulthood.


Wainwright masterfully propels the story forward using cliffhanger chapter endings and nonconsecutive storytelling.


Far from condescending to his young audience, Wainwright incorporates advanced vocabulary words and vivid descriptions that will make readers feel they are in a careening hot air balloon thousands of feet from earth.

Sarah Eshleman

Editor in Chief, Answers Magazine

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"I don’t know what I thought I would discover when I picked up Trapped in a Hot Air Balloon, but I was pleasantly surprised! I found relatable characters, a suspenseful plot, and worthwhile lessons that would benefit all readers. This Christian fiction story proves that modern is not equal to secular, and it will certainly guide the youth of today in overcoming life’s difficulties through the lens of Scripture.

Katie Green

5th Grade Teacher

Pensacola Christian Academy

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“Siblings Jenny and Cole find themselves trapped in a soaring balloon where they must face their fears and address the root cause of the strife between them. I appreciate how Wainwright weaved together an action-packed story with a timeless lesson about faith and forgiveness. The writing was so authentic that I found myself in tears over Jenny's heartache and grateful for the clear biblical response presented to the pain of loss and the danger of bitterness. Trapped in a Hot Air Balloon is an entertaining and valuable story, and I highly recommend it."

–Kristen Hogrefe Parnell

award-winning author of 6 books

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“I love that this book teaches lessons but is still full of adventure.”

–Amanda Hyslop, 8th grader

Brighton, Michigan

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“Up, up, and away! Jenny and Cole's suspenseful balloon adventure had me glued to each page. Mark Wainwright's debut novel reveals an author who is skilled at plotting and drawing interesting characters. And there's far more to the story than a dangerous balloon ride. The tale explores real-world issues: anger, bitterness, loss, and trust in a Creator who always does what is best, even though we may not understand. Highly recommended!”

–Adam Blumer

author of 5 books

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"Loved this book! I learned a lot about hot air balloons, but I especially appreciated the character lessons of love, loss, and forgiveness! Excellent, exciting read!

Dan Faulkner

Director, Camp Elim

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"Flying in a hot air balloon? What fun! Trapped in a Hot Air Balloon is a great story to read aloud or for older kids to read on their own. Five stars.

–Deb Haggerty

Book Reviewer at Positive Grace

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Trapped in a Hot Air Balloon is full of universally raw emotions relatable for both children and adults. Mark does a fantastic job weaving suspense and leaving you hanging at the end of each chapter. It's far too easy to tell yourself, "Just one more," and before you know it, you're trappped in a brilliant read.

–Jenneth Dyck

Washington D.C.

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As a Christian, educator, and mom of three kids, I'm always on the look-out for good, Christian children’s books. I recommend Trapped in a Hot Air Balloon for your middle school children. They will learn the importance of offering forgiveness, growing faith, and overcoming fears. Your children will be captivated as they read each chapter!

–Tania Young

Pensacola, Florida

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“A really awesome story.”

–Chase Abrams, 6th grader

Franklin, Tennessee

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“A clever tale with lessons about sibling rivalry, salvation, and some education about hot air balloons along the way. Though the adventure is exciting, the well-developed characters are what I found most enjoyable."

–Tony Myers

author of 7 books

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“Wow, Trapped in a Hot Air Balloon captured my attention by remaining applicable in the midst of a high-action story. The lessons went beyond the stereotypical methods of teaching forgiveness and family values.”

–Nathan Carlson

Williams, Arizona

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“One of the reasons the story’s characters came alive was the author did such a good job sharing their metacognition—the thinking going on in their heads—which made them likable and awful, depending on the moment. But this also brought their spiritual lives out and helped the reader process how the Lord is with those who believe.”

–Sarah Poling

blogger and book reviewer

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“It kept me very interested and was hard to put down. I liked all the descriptive details. They painted pictures for my imagination.”

–Victoria Prickett, 8th grader

Pensacola, Florida