Customer Reviews for

Heaven Is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

333 out of 426 people found this review helpful.

Very enjoyable

I loved reading this wonderful book! It is a story that keeps you entertained for hours.

posted by theReader278 on June 29, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

505 out of 1756 people found this review helpful.

Hogwash

I cannot believe the masses are drinking the Kool-Aid that is this silly little book. It's very clear that the parents are pimping out this kid to sell the book. Any four year old who has been exposed to as much religion as this kid has been since he was born is bound t...
I cannot believe the masses are drinking the Kool-Aid that is this silly little book. It's very clear that the parents are pimping out this kid to sell the book. Any four year old who has been exposed to as much religion as this kid has been since he was born is bound to pick up the vernacular of all things spiritual. His dad obviously filled in the blanks to make this piece of sentimental hogwash marketable. By the way? The kid describes Jesus as having blue eyes. Uh, no. Jesus was a Jew from Palestine. Not likely. This book should be shelved in fiction.

posted by 6403186 on January 4, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2011

    Hogwash

    I cannot believe the masses are drinking the Kool-Aid that is this silly little book. It's very clear that the parents are pimping out this kid to sell the book. Any four year old who has been exposed to as much religion as this kid has been since he was born is bound to pick up the vernacular of all things spiritual. His dad obviously filled in the blanks to make this piece of sentimental hogwash marketable. By the way? The kid describes Jesus as having blue eyes. Uh, no. Jesus was a Jew from Palestine. Not likely. This book should be shelved in fiction.

    505 out of 1756 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 29, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Very enjoyable

    I loved reading this wonderful book! It is a story that keeps you entertained for hours.

    333 out of 426 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 4, 2010

    Inspiring book that helped me refocus on the need to reach out so that others can see the love of Jesus that we have to offer.

    An amazing story that moved me, made me cry, but also inspired me to keep looking toward the goal and striving to be all I can be. This family's story shows how God can use a tragedy to bring about change in people's lives. This book has made me stop and think about my faith in a fresh new way and encouraged me to keep the faith.

    156 out of 196 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 30, 2011

    *

    I was very disappointed in this book. The book was more about the Pastor and his congregation than his son's experience. There were so many quotes from the bible that I felt like it was a bible study rather than the "Near Death Experience" that I was expecting. The parts that were described from his son would have had more meaning if this pastor weren't promoting his religion. Save your money....there are so many other books on NDE much better than this one.

    126 out of 283 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 5, 2010

    Amazing Story!

    Heaven is for Real A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back By Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent is a book based on the true events of a four year old boy's visit to heaven. The book itself was written by his father, but simply retells the conversations he has had over a period of time with his son. As the father of a four year old boy myself I was very interested in reading this story. I have read many books on heaven, people's visions and encounters but none that involved someone so young. What sets this one apart from all the others is the simplicity and innocence of heaven explained through the eyes of a child. This is not a story about white fluffly clouds but rather a divine revelation of heaven given to a child. The descriptions from the mouth of this child (Colton) is very convincing and makes it hard to deny that he truly did have this heavenly encounter as a lot of what he say's matches up with scripture. There are several points I can remember being blown away and having my heart encouraged by the way Colton describes how Jesus feels for his children. As I read I could picture my 4 year old using many of the same descriptions had it happened to him. As much as I believe this child had an encounter there was something that tripped me up in the book a little bit. This was simply the idea that everybody in heaven had wings. I'm not writing off the book because of this, simply because I have not personally been to heaven. This is just something that I have never thought to be a truth about heaven. I also realize that a lot of Colton's descriptions came months after the event and it is entirely possible that a child's imagination can run wild. With an open mind I am also open to being proved wrong when I see heaven for myself.
    The book itself was well written and very easy to read. If you have a good chunk of time it would not be difficult to read the book in it's entirely in one sitting. I recommend this book to anybody, it is a different perspective than what you would normally have, it is encouraging and it gets you thinking about heaven (which is always a good thing).
    This book was provided by Nelson House Publishers for my review. I was not required to give this book a positive review.

    110 out of 147 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 1, 2010

    Cute Boy

    This is an easy, quick read with a likeable child who purportedly visited heaven and spoke about what heaven is like.

    The book is well written and there are some nice black and white photos of the family in the middle of the book. I decided to read this book because it was written by a pastor, and I thought it would be an account that would be an honest and thoughtful story.

    Unfortunately, in order to believe this story your have to make some choices in what you want to believe. Either Colton visited heaven while still alive or he died on the table and the surgeon, anesthetist, and nurses didn't notice. There was no mention by the doctors in talking with the parents or in medical records that Colton died on the surgical table. Also, there is a time problem. Colton talked about seeing God shoot power down to his dad while preaching. This means either Colton's father was preaching while the child was in surgery (he was not) or there was some time traveling going on. His father explains this away by saying he was in "God's time", which really doesn't make sense.

    The author's strongest evidence is that the child talks about a deceased family member and a miscarriage his mother suffered, both of which he supposedly had no knowledge. I find it hard to believe that at no time was this child away from the parents and in the care of another family member who could have mentioned these events or even just overheard his parents talking about it. Other events mentioned by Colton sound more like Sunday
    School 101.

    I really wanted to like this book because I am a believer, but I think this child's parents are reading way too much into his precocious and creative behavior.

    82 out of 137 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2011

    A load of bull...

    I wanted to like this book but, coming from a medical background this book is a load of crap. What parent who's child has been throwing up for 5 days, not eating or drinking, lethargic and crying is going to wait to drive all the way home (a state away) to take them to a hospital? What parent is going to stand by while doctors and nurses poke and prod their kid while the kid is screaming bloody murder and not ask about pain control? What hospital allows the nurses to hold the child while a parent gives injections of medicine in the hospital or is told by the medical staff to change the JP drain on their child?
    At first I tried to find the silver lining, "well maybe this was several years ago", "well maybe this was in a very small, rural town, etc." but when I looked up the so called hospital and town, it just isn't possible.
    My final straw was the fact that the family outright names the hospital, doctors and other medical staff and yet no legal investigation was done considering the medical mistakes and unnecessary testing and in my opinion torture was done to this child by the medical team and family. YEAH RIGHT!

    80 out of 169 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2011

    Um no.

    I just don't get this book. Too many of its kind have been written... it's just not believeable. In fact it makes me kind of suspicious of the whole thing. I believe in god and heaven... but wish I had passed on this one. I am left wondering who's words these really are. Sorry, I wanted to like it.

    72 out of 180 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 5, 2011

    I wish I could give it NO stars

    I have to admit, I'm a skeptic on a lot of "claims" that people make. And so it was with a very critical eye that I read Heaven Is For Real by Todd Burpo, a pastor who until this story came out, had been facing some challenging times, both physically and (because of medical bills) financially. Interestingly he's now the (obviously) published author of his son's story which is on the best seller list, he has a radio program, and tours to do various talk shows to promote his book. Not a bad for a small town pastor, eh? Todd Burpo is the author of this very simplistic, so easy to read that I read it over the course of a few hours while my son was at a drama rehearsal. And apparently I'm not the only one who was able to zoom through it like that, it's a common theme for all the other reviews I've read about it. Now, it's not a typical thing for me to read other people's reviews before reviewing a book myself. but I read the book, and had NO idea where to start in reviewing it. I think it's a fanciful tale. There are several reason I disliked it. I'll just list them: The publicity is misleading. This is not the tale that little Colton Burpo woke up and told. the "story" actually came out over the course of YEARS following the surgery it was supposed to have happened during. Little Colton did NOT die. medical records (you know, how they monitor every breath and heartbeat) show that he never died. His simple answer? If you have to be dead to go to Heaven *shrug* then I guess I died. Well, Colton, that's nice, but it's not what happened. There is so much theologically questionable material in this book, it's dangerous. I don't know Todd Burpo from anyone, but if I were the governing body of his church, I would take a serious look at this man's theological beliefs before letting him shepherd a congregation - apparently he's teaching that the Holy Spirit is a blue lighting bolt throwin' dude who sits around with little boys in the Thrown Room of Heaven. Now, I have children. One of the things that amazes me is how "tuned" in they are when you don't think they're paying any attention. Recently my 5 year old came running up the stairs to ask if she could "help me" . to do what? To bake the cake I had off-handedly joked QUIETLY to my teenage daughter that I "should" make (can't remember what for, something like Dr. Suess' birthday or something.) She had heard me, even though she was down in the family room playing, a floor and a half away from where I was talking. Her brother at the time was watching a video in the same room as she was, and she STILL heard me. Talk about tuned in! Now, let's take a look at the facts: Colton's dad is a pretty conservative PASTOR. Colton's mom is active in their church ministry. Colton's mom talks to people on the phone (possibly within the hearing of young Colton, possibly discussing things on a higher theological level than she might teach in sunday school.) Colton attends church (and sunday school) with his family every week, where no doubt he hears all about various aspects of Heaven. Colton's dad reads from a Bible storybook to Colton EVERY NIGHT (hmmm.. there might be pictures in this book that filled in some gaps in Colton's knowledge, like about robes with purple sashes) Colton took several years for this information to all seep out, so it's wasn't just the memories of a 4 year old. he had years to embellish with his imagination this tale that when you read the story,

    60 out of 124 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2011

    Come on now...do people really believe this??

    It reminded me of my parents telling me stories about God and Jesus. The stories told to this little boy as a young child were also told to me. There was nothing in his "experiences" that I haven't envisioned in my mind after my parents read these stories to me. It was a joke to think he actually experienced these things outside a dream. I think his parents need to fess up and stop pretending their son came up with these experiences on his own. Did they actually forget they read him these stories as he was growing up? How convenient. If this isn't using their own son for personal gain, then I don't know what is! I'm sure they're laughing all the way to the bank!

    48 out of 128 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2011

    Complete and Utter Propaganda

    If the family had been atheists instead of evangelists, this might be believable. It's obvious that this kid was coached into some of his answers and some of it is outright lies in order to sell Christianity to a public desperate for proof of anything. It's a good story if you're desperate. They use a kid because it sells the lie better. If you did this same story with a 20 year old instead of a 4 year old, people would put him in a psych ward. If you did this same story with a Muslim child, the Christian right would decry it as blasphemy.

    Don't believe the hype.

    42 out of 93 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 11, 2010

    Well Written & Inspiring

    This is a well written and inspiring book that will give readers hope for what the Bible promises us in heaven. Talks about meeting people from the Bible as well as loves ones in heaven.

    This would be a great book for anyone who has suffered from a miscarriage also, since it addresses that subject as well.

    Coming from someone who loves to read good stories, I would highly recommend this book. Not only for it's "story" but for the hope it will instill in your heart as you read.

    42 out of 68 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 6, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Sweet story but not believable

    As a Christian I was looking forward to reading this story of Colton Burpo. I was hooked at first and was enjoying it as it confirmed a lot of my beliefs, mainly there is a life after death, until the wings were introduced. At that point I knew this was a manufactured story. Colton's dad probably wrote it pouring his own faith into it. This is a case of "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus". Why don't I believe it? Because a friend of mine who DID live through a NDE (Near Death Experience) confirmed to me that no one in heaven wears wings. According to her experience people look the same in Heaven as they do on earth. No need for wings! The "wings" detail is utterly ridiculous and only a projection of childhood idealized images. This is not "It's a wonderful life" in which the angel has to earn his wings. One redeeming aspect of the book is the fact that its story confirms to me that God, his son Jesus-Christ and the Holy Spirit are three distinct personages which is what I believe in my faith. They are not this great spirit feeling a void and our heart. So to me this is contradictory: on one hand I have the preposterous wings story and others with absurd details and on the other the confirmation of what I believe. I should have known something was up when I read the free sample and the only reviews were from members of the Wesleyan Church where Colton's father is from. So what to do? well, at this point I will consider that I gave Reverend Burpo a $6 donation to help him pay his medical bills. This book is to be read for what it is: a sweet tale of an idealized image of Heaven.

    37 out of 74 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 12, 2011

    Filled with Hope and Encouragement

    This is the perfect gift for someone who has suffered the death of a child. I was greatly encouraged and inspired by the story of the struggles that Todd Burpo and his family went through. I could really relate to some of their difficulties. I recently lost my son and years ago I lost another child through miscarriage. I am a believer in Jesus and I already knew that heaven was a real place but this book was almost like getting a letter from my son telling me about his new home. It helped me to move through my grief to acceptance. If you read this book with an open mind you will be filled with hope. Cynics who get caught up in details they don't "agree" with are missing the whole point. God is real, heaven is real and disagreeing with God won't change anything. We will all travel this road someday.

    33 out of 49 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 14, 2011

    Not believable

    Anticipated reading this. Was very disappointed. It was less about the boys visit to heaven and more about the minister dads sermonizing. The fact that the preschool boys memories of heaven surfaced over several years made me wonder about the storys validity. But when the dad admitted he did not write down the names of the children the boy saw in heaven it convinced me the story was not completely true. Why would he not have a pencil and paper handy to write these down. I believe the author believes his son visited heaven and his son may have. The author just does not present a believable case. I would not recommend this book.

    30 out of 56 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Loved it! Will Read Again!

    I hated to put the book down at night! It made me laugh, made me cry, every emotion possible! The story was inspiring and really made me think about my relationship with God. It showed me that we need to have faith more like children and quit trying to be "too smart" for our own good. Colton's story of meeting Jesus and sitting in his lap and how God shoots powers down to people was fun and very encouraging. He spoke the bible in kid terms and without knowing all the details of the bible. He spoke of God's throne and how "no one wears glasses in Heaven", and how Jesus really loved children. I can't quit raving about this book. I will definitely tell people about this and encourage them to read it. It is a must for anyone who wants to see Heaven through a child's eyes.

    30 out of 47 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 18, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    good read

    hard to put down. it was amazing. One of the best

    29 out of 45 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 3, 2010

    Gave me goosebumps!

    Born and raised in a Baptist preacher's home, I was always taught to be skeptical of anyone's near death experience, so it was with skepticism that I approached this book. I was pleasantly surprised though. I'm the mom of a 4 year old, who like Colton, has been in church her whole life. I know what she knows about the Bible, because for the most part, I'm the one who taught her. The descriptions of Colton are far from what is contained in the preschool Sunday school curriculum. Beyond my own skeptical nature, this book is a wonderful testimony of God's love and faithfulness. It was uplifting to read. It is thought provoking and emotion invoking!

    As I was curled up in bed reading, my 4 year old came in and curled up next to me and said, "Read to me, Mommy!" So, we laid in bed together reading about Colton's heavenly experiences. She loved the book which got me thinking about her imaginary friend, Inky. Could Inky be an angel or the Holy Spirit? We never know what children are able to understand in the spirit.

    Check it out for yourself! I would love to hear other people's take on it!

    I was provided this book for free in exchange for my review through the Thomas Nelson Booksneeze program.

    29 out of 51 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 22, 2011

    Made up Story

    This story is obviously made up. I recently lost my daughter and was hoping to read a true story about what a child experienced in heaven. The fact that a preacher would make up a story, and try to pass it off as true is disturbing. This book personally hurt me.

    28 out of 59 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2011

    Ugh.

    I read this book after my mother. She loves this book and swears the boy is truthful. I read it and thought I would get a biblical representation of heaven and Jesus and feel uplifted as my mother would say. Unfortunately, there are a lot of things the boy says that don't add up to what is in the bible. I may not be an expert but the book of revelation is a personal favorite of mine and apparently Todd and his son, Colton never read it. I'm surprised that Todd is a pastor and never taked about how to recieve salvation our gift from God in the book. Sorry if I offend any one with this post but reading something that is a false representaion of our Lord and heaven is appalling!

    27 out of 63 people found this review helpful.

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