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

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


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#1 New York Times best-seller with more than 11 million copies sold and Amazon’s #17 best-selling book of all time. Heaven Is for Real was the best-selling non-fiction book of 2011 as reported by Nielsen’s Bookscan, and was developed as a major motion picture by Sony in 2014.

“Do you remember the hospital, Colton?” Sonja said. “Yes, mommy, I remember,” he said. “That’s where the angels sang to me.”

When Colton Burpo made it through an emergency appendectomy, his family was overjoyed at his miraculous survival. What they weren’t expecting, though, was the story that emerged in the months that followed—a story as beautiful as it was extraordinary, detailing their little boy’s trip to heaven and back.

Colton, not yet four years old, told his parents he left his body during the surgery–and authenticated that claim by describing exactly what his parents were doing in another part of the hospital while he was being operated on. He talked of visiting heaven and relayed stories told to him by people he met there whom he had never met in life, sharing events that happened even before he was born. He also astonished his parents with descriptions and obscure details about heaven that matched the Bible exactly, though he had not yet learned to read.

With disarming innocence and the plainspoken boldness of a child, Colton tells of meeting long-departed family members. He describes Jesus, the angels, how “really, really big” God is, and how much God loves us. Retold by his father, but using Colton’s uniquely simple words, Heaven Is for Real offers a glimpse of the world that awaits us, where as Colton says, “Nobody is old and nobody wears glasses.”

Heaven Is for Real will forever change the way you think of eternity, offering the chance to see, and believe, like a child.

Continue the Burpos story in Heaven Changes Everything: The Rest of Our Story. Heaven Is for Real also is available in Spanish, El cielo es real.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780849946158
Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 10/31/2010
Pages: 163
Sales rank: 30,516
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 10 Years

About the Author

Todd Burpo is pastor of Crossroads Wesleyan and a volunteer fireman. He and his wife, Sonja, have four children: Colton is an active teenager; he has an older sister, Cassie; a younger brother, Colby; and a very special sister he met in heaven. Sonja Burpo is a busy mom and pastor's wife. A certified elementary teacher, Sonja is passionate about children's ministry and helping women work through the difficulty of miscarriage.

Lynn Vincent is the New York Times best-selling writer ofHeaven Is for Real and Same Kind of Different As Me. The author or coauthor of ten books, Lynn has sold 12 million copies since 2006. She worked for eleven years as a writer and editor at the national news biweekly WORLD magazine and is a U.S. Navy veteran.

Read an Excerpt

Heaven Is for Real

A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back
By Todd Burpo Lynn Vincent

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2010 Todd Burpo
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-8499-4615-8

Chapter One


The family trip when our nightmare began was supposed to be a celebration. In early March 2003, I was scheduled to travel to Greeley, Colorado, for a district board meeting of the Wesleyan church. Beginning the August before, our family had traveled a rocky road: seven months of back-to-back injury and illness that included a shattered leg, two surgeries, and a cancer scare, all of which combined to drain our bank account to the point where I could almost hear sucking sounds when the statements came in the mail. My small pastor's salary hadn't been affected, but our financial mainstay was the overhead garage door business we owned. Our medical trials had taken a heavy toll.

By February, though, we seemed to be on the other side of all that. Since I had to travel anyway, we decided to turn the board-meeting trip into a kind of marker in our family life-a time to have a little fun, revive our minds and spirits, and start moving forward again with fresh hope.

Sonja had heard of a neat place for kids to visit just outside Denver called the Butterfly Pavilion. Billed as an "invertebrate zoo," the Butterfly Pavilion opened in 1995 as an educational project that would teach people about the wonders of insects as well as marine critters, the kinds that live in tide pools. These days, kids are greeted outside the zoo by a towering and colorful metal sculpture of a praying mantis. But back in 2003, the giant insect hadn't taken up his post yet, so the low brick building about fifteen minutes from downtown Denver didn't shout "Kid appeal!" on the outside. But inside, a world of wonders waited, especially for kids Colton's and Cassie's ages.

The first place we stopped was the "Crawl-A-See-Um," a room filled with terrariums housing creepy-crawly critters from beetles to roaches to spiders. One exhibit, the Tarantula Tower, drew Cassie and Colton like a magnet. This stack of terrariums was, exactly as advertised, a tower of glassed-in habitats containing the kind of furry, thick-legged spiders that either fascinate you or give you the willies.

Cassie and Colton took turns climbing a three-step folding stool in order to get a look at the residents of the Tarantula Tower's upper stories. In one terrarium, a Mexican blonde tarantula squatted in a corner, its exoskeleton covered with what the exhibit placard described as hair in a "lovely" pale color. Another habitat contained a red-and-black tarantula native to India. One of the scarier-looking residents was a "skeleton tarantula," so named because its black legs were segmented with white bands so that the spider looked a little like an Xray in reverse. We later heard that this particular skeleton tarantula was a bit of a rebel: once, she had somehow engineered a jailbreak, invaded the habitat next door, and eaten her neighbor for lunch.

As Colton hopped up on the footstool to see what the rogue tarantula looked like, he glanced back at me with a grin that warmed me. I could feel my neck muscles begin to unknot, and somewhere inside me a pressure valve released, the emotional equivalent of a long sigh. For the first time in months, I felt I could simply enjoy my family.

"Wow, look at that one!" Cassie said, pointing into one of the terrariums. A slightly gangly six-year-old, my daughter was as smart as a whip, a trait she got from her mom. Cassie was pointing to the exhibit sign, which read: "Goliath Birdeater ... females can be over eleven inches long."

The one in this tank was only about six inches long, but its body was as thick as Colton's wrist. He stared through the glass wide-eyed. I looked over and saw Sonja wrinkle her nose.

I guess one of the volunteer zookeepers saw her expression, too, because he quickly came to the birdeater's defense. "The Goliath is from South America," he said in a friendly, educational tone that said, They're not as yucky as you think. "Tarantulas from North and South America are very docile. You can even hold one right over there." He pointed to where another zookeeper was holding a smaller tarantula in his palm so that a group of kids could take a closer look.

Cassie darted across the room to see what all the fuss was about, with Sonja, Colton, and me bringing up the rear. In a corner of the room decorated to look like a bamboo hut, the keeper was displaying the undisputed star of the Crawl-A-See-Um, Rosie the Spider. A rose-haired tarantula from South America, Rosie was a furry arachnid with a plum-size body and legs six inches long, thick as pencils. But the best thing about Rosie from a kid's point of view was that if you were brave enough to hold her, even for a moment, the zookeeper would award you with a sticker.

Now, if you have little kids, you already know that there are times they'd rather have a good sticker than a handful of cash. And this sticker was special: white with a picture of a tarantula stamped in yellow, it read, "I held Rosie!"

This wasn't just any old sticker; this was a badge of courage!

Cassie bent low over the keeper's hand. Colton looked up at me, blue eyes wide. "Can I have a sticker, Daddy?"

"You have to hold Rosie to get a sticker, buddy."

At that age, Colton had this precious way of talking, part-serious, part-breathless, golly-gee wonder. He was a smart, funny little guy with a black-and-white way of looking at life. Something was either fun (LEGOs) or it wasn't (Barbies). He either liked food (steak) or hated it (green beans). There were good guys and bad guys, and his favorite toys were good-guy action figures. Superheroes were a big deal to Colton. He took his Spider-Man, Batman, and Buzz Lightyear action figures with him everywhere he went. That way, whether he was stuck in the backseat of the SUV, in a waiting room, or on the floor at the church, he could still create scenes in which the good guys saved the world. This usually involved swords, Colton's favorite weapon for banishing evil. At home, he could be the superhero. I'd often walk into the house and find Colton armed to the teeth, a toy sword tucked through each side of his belt and one in each hand: "I'm playing Zorro, Daddy! Wanna play?"

Now Colton turned his gaze to the spider in the keeper's hand, and it looked to me like he wished he had a sword right then, at least for moral support. I tried to imagine how huge the spider must look to a little guy who wasn't even four feet tall. Our son was all boy-a rough-and-tumble kid who had gotten up close and personal with plenty of ants and beetles and other crawling creatures. But none of those creepy-crawlies had been as big as his face and with hair nearly as long as his own.

Cassie straightened and smiled at Sonja. "I'll hold her, Mommy. Can I hold Rosie?"

"Okay, but you'll have to wait your turn," Sonja said.

Cassie got in line behind a couple of other kids. Colton's eyes never left Rosie as first a boy then a girl held the enormous spider and the zookeeper awarded the coveted stickers. In no time at all, Cassie's moment of truth arrived. Colton braced himself against my legs, close enough to see his sister, but trying to bolt at the same time, pushing back against my knees. Cassie held out her palm and we all watched as Rosie, an old hand with small, curious humans, lifted one furry leg at a time and scurried across the bridge from the keeper's hand into Cassie's, then back into the keeper's.

"You did it!" the keeper said as Sonja and I clapped and cheered. "Good job!" Then the zookeeper stood, peeled a white-and-yellow sticker off a big roll, and gave it to Cassie.

This, of course, made it even worse for Colton, who had not only been upstaged by his sister but was now also the only stickerless Burpo kid. He gazed longingly at Cassie's prize, then back at Rosie, and I could see him trying to wrestle down his fear. Finally, he pursed his lips, dragged his gaze away from Rosie, and looked back up at me. "I don't want to hold her."

"Okay," I said.

"But can I have a sticker?"

"Nope, the only way to get one is to hold her. Cassie did it. You can do it if you want to. Do you want to try? Just for a second?"

Colton looked back at the spider, then at his sister, and I could see wheels turning behind his eyes: Cassie did it. She didn't get bit.

Then he shook his head firmly: No. "But I still want a sticker!" he insisted. At the time, Colton was two months shy of four years old-and he was very good at standing his ground.

"The only way you can get a sticker is if you hold Rosie," Sonja said. "Are you sure you don't want to hold her?"

Colton answered by grabbing Sonja's hand and trying to tug her away from the keeper. "No. I wanna to go see the starfish."

"Are you sure?" Sonja said.

With a vigorous nod, Colton marched toward the Crawl- A-See-Um door.

Chapter Two


In the next room, we found rows of aquariums and indoor "tide pools." We wandered around the exhibits, taking in starfish and mollusks and sea anemones that looked like underwater blossoms. Cassie and Colton oohed and aahed as they dipped their hands in man-made tide pools and touched creatures that they had never seen.

Next, we stepped into a massive atrium, bursting with jungle leaves, vines tumbling down, branches climbing toward the sky. I took in the palm trees and exotic flowers that looked as if they'd come from one of Colton's storybooks. And all around us, clouds of butterflies flitted and swirled.

As the kids explored, I let my mind drift back to the summer before, when Sonja and I played in a coed softball league, like we do every year. We usually finished in the top five, even though we played on the "old folks" team-translation: people in their thirties-battling teams made up of college kids. Now it struck me as ironic that our family's seven-month trial began with an injury that occurred in the last game of our last tournament of the 2002 season. I played center field, and Sonja played outfield rover. By then, Sonja had earned her master's degree in library science and to me was even more beautiful than when she'd first caught my eye as a freshman strolling across the quad at Bartlesville Wesleyan College.

Summer was winding down, but the dog days of the season were in full force with a penetrating heat, thirsty for rain. We had traveled from Imperial about twenty miles down the road to the village of Wauneta for a double-elimination tournament. At nearly midnight, we were battling our way up through the bracket, playing under the blue-white glow of the field lights.

I don't remember what the score was, but I remember we were at the tail end of the game and the lead was within reach. I had hit a double and was perched on second base. Our next batter came up and knocked a pitch that landed in the center-field grass. I saw my chance. As an outfielder ran to scoop up the ball, I took off for third base.

I sensed the ball winging toward the infield.

Our third-base coach motioned frantically: "Slide! Slide!"

Adrenaline pumping, I dropped to the ground and felt the red dirt swooshing underneath my left hip. The other team's third baseman stretched out his glove hand for the ball and-


The sound of my leg breaking was so loud that I imagined the ball had zinged in from the outfield and smacked it. Fire exploded in my shin and ankle. I fell to my back, contracted into a fetal position, and pulled my knee up to my belly. The pain was searing, and I remember the dirt around me transforming into a blur of legs, then concerned faces, as two of our players, both EMTs, ran to my aid.

I dimly remember Sonja rushing over to take a look. I could tell by her expression that my leg was bent in ways that didn't look natural. She stepped back to let our EMT friends get to work. A twenty-mile ride later, hospital Xrays revealed a pair of nasty breaks. The tibia, the larger bone in my lower leg, had sustained what doctors call a "spiral break," meaning that each end of the break looked like the barber-pole pattern on a drill bit. Also, my ankle had snapped completely in half. That was probably the break I had heard. I later learned that the cracking sound was so loud that people sitting in the stands at first base heard it.

That sound replayed in my head as Sonja and I watched Cassie and Colton scamper ahead of us in the Butterfly Pavilion atrium. The kids stopped on a small bridge and peered down into a koi pond, chattering and pointing. Clouds of butterflies floated around us, and I glanced at the brochure I'd bought at the front desk to see if I could tell their names. There were "blue morphos" with wings a deep aquamarine, black-and-white "paper kites" that flew slowly and gently like snippets of newsprint floating down through the air, and the "cloudless sulfur," a tropical butterfly with wings the color of fresh mango.

At this point, I was just happy to finally be able to walk without a limp. Besides the hacksaw pain of the spiral break, the most immediate effect of my accident was financial. It's pretty tough to climb up and down ladders to install garage doors while dragging a ten-pound cast and a knee that won't bend. Our bank balance took a sudden and rapid nosedive. On a blue-collar pastor's salary, what little reserve we had evaporated within weeks. Meanwhile, the amount we had coming in was chopped in half.

The pain of that went beyond money, though. I served as both a volunteer firefighter and high school wrestling coach, commitments that suffered because of my bum leg. Sundays became a challenge too. I'm one of those pastors who walks back and forth during the sermon. Not a holy-rolling, fire-and-brimstone guy by any stretch, but not a soft-spoken minister in vestments, performing liturgical readings either. I'm a storyteller, and to tell stories I need to move around some. But now I had to preach sitting down with my leg propped in a second chair, sticking out like the jib on a sail. Asking me to sit down while I delivered the Sunday message was like asking an Italian to talk without using his hands. But as much as I struggled with the inconvenience of my injury, I didn't know then that it would be only the first domino to fall.

One morning that October, right about the time I'd gotten used to hobbling everywhere on crutches, I awoke to a dull throbbing in my lower back. I knew instantly what the problem was: kidney stones.

The first time I had a kidney stone, it measured six millimeters and required surgery. This time after a round of tests, doctors thought the stones were small enough to pass. I don't know whether that was a good thing, though: I passed them for three days. I had once slammed my middle finger in a tailgate and cut the tip off. That was like baking cookies compared to this. Even breaking my leg into four pieces hadn't hurt as bad.

Still, I survived. By November, I'd been hobbling around on crutches for three months, and I went in for a checkup.

"The leg's healing correctly, but we still need to keep it casted," the orthopedist said. "Anything else bothering you?"

Actually, there was. I felt a little weird bringing it up, but the left side of my chest had developed a knot right beneath the surface of the nipple. I'm right-handed and had been leaning on my left crutch a lot while writing, so I thought maybe the underarm pad on that crutch had rubbed against my chest over a period of weeks, creating some kind of irritation beneath the skin, a callus of some kind.

The doctor immediately ruled that out. "Crutches don't do that," he said. "I need to call a surgeon."

The surgeon, Dr. Timothy O'Holleran, performed a needle biopsy. The results that came back a few days later shocked me: hyperplasia. Translation: the precursor to breast cancer.

Breast cancer! A man with a broken leg, kidney stones, and-come on, really?-breast cancer?


Excerpted from Heaven Is for Real by Todd Burpo Lynn Vincent Copyright © 2010 by Todd Burpo. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Prologue: Angels at Arby's....................xv
1. The Crawl-A-See-Um....................1
2. Pastor Job....................7
3. Colton Toughs It Out....................14
4. Smoke Signals....................18
5. Shadow of Death....................25
6. North Platte....................28
7. "I Think This Is It"....................33
8. Raging at God....................37
9. Minutes Like Glaciers....................41
10. Prayers of a Most Unusual Kind....................47
11. Colton Burpo, Collection Agent....................52
12. Eyewitness to Heaven....................60
13. Lights and Wings....................70
14. On Heaven Time....................77
15. Confession....................82
16. Pop....................85
17. Two Sisters....................93
18. The Throne Room of God....................98
19. Jesus Really Loves the Children....................105
20. Dying and Living....................110
21. The First Person You'll See....................115
22. No One Is Old in Heaven....................120
23. Power from Above....................124
24. Ali's Moment....................127
25. Swords of the Angels....................131
26. The Coming War....................135
27. Someday We'll See....................140
Timeline of Events....................155
About the Burpos....................161
About Lynn Vincent....................163

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Heaven is for Real 0 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 446 reviews.
kimjane69 More than 1 year ago
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.
jheinrichs More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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timetravel More than 1 year ago
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.
SeekandYouShallFind More than 1 year ago
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.
BooBooKisser More than 1 year ago
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.
LolaAnn More than 1 year ago
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.
Joel_M More than 1 year ago
As cute, comforting, and feel-good as this book might be it is not in agreement with the Bible's descriptions of heaven. Most of Colton's descriptions sound like something any child who had been in Sunday school their whole life (and had a good imagination) could have come up with in response to the "open ended" questions asked by his parents over the next 2-3 years. More worrisome than that, some of his statements appear to directly contradict Scripture. Here are some of the potential discrepancies: - Colton claims that a picture of Jesus with beautiful blue eyes is completely accurate vs. according to the Bible Jesus was an average looking Jewish man (Matthew 1, Isaiah 53:2) - Colton claims that everyone in heaven has wings except for Jesus vs. according to the Bible the Christians' glorified form will be like that of Jesus (I John 3:2, Romans 8:29) - Colton claims the angels carry swords to keep Satan out of heaven vs. according to the Bible until some point midway through the book of Revelation Satan is allowed to appear in heaven to accuse Believers before God (e.g. Job 1-3, Revelation 12:10) - Colton claims that people (including his father) will fight with swords and bows in a great battle at the end of time vs. in Scripture the various end times battles are fought by Michael and his angels (Revelation 12:7-8), Jesus who merely speaks (Revelation 19:21), and fire from heaven (Revelation 20:9) - Colton claims that the gates of heaven are gold studded with pearls vs. the Bible says that each gate is made of a single pearl (Revelation 21:21) Even in general principle, the idea of being caught up to heaven and then reporting on it afterwards is not in line with the Bible. None of the people in the Bible who were raise from the dead gave descriptions of what they saw between their death and resurrection, and in II Corinthians 12:1-5 the man who was "caught up to paradise" was not allowed to tell what he had seen and heard there. John and Daniel both had visions of heaven,but they were receiving explicit revelation which they were commanded to share...not giving a free-wheeling travelogue. Any Christian who believes the Bible is indeed the authoritative Word of God should have serious skepticism regarding this book. Heaven is certainly real, but this book appears to be, at best, sentimental imagination. For those who do not view the Bible as infallible or prefer to credit personal experience over Scripture this might be a nice feel-good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Poorly Written I usually refrain from writing bad reviews, but there really needs to be some balance here. This book is excruciatingly awful and clearly exploitative. I am a believer and do not question the validly of NDE, but the way this family has used and directed their son’s experience is painful to read. There are SO many fabulous books that should replace this one on your reading list.
texaspeteID More than 1 year ago
This book isn't even about Colton, it's about his father Todd. Colton's parents ignored his abdominal pain to attend yet another meeting resulting in his needless suffering, they should be ashamed of their neglect and for profitting from this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I feel sorry for all of the people who don't see the horrible exploitation of this child. Come on, the man begins the book by saying how much he and his church needed money, when suddenly this wonderful bank opportunity arrises. This load of garbage is so obviously a fabricated and dishonest scam that an explanation shouldn't even be required for low ratings. This is ridiculous and the fact that this book is rated so highly is truly embarassing.
SueDeMag More than 1 year ago
Out of the mouths of babes! There is no way such a small child could ever 'make up' the details, or know the background that is needed for this story to be less than 100% true! It's chilling, encouraging, inspiring, and a delightful read! Have had a miscarriage? Lost a loved one? This story will fill you with hope, and love!! Enjoy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My Book Review Book title and author: By: Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent. Title of review: New York Times Best Selling Christian Book. Number of stars (1 to 5): 5 Is the true story of a miracle. Four year old Colton the son of small town Nebraska preacher experienced a trip to heaven. During Colton’s emergency surgery he went to heaven. After he got out of his surgery he told his parents everything that happened. The family didn’t know what to believe but soon the evidence was clear, Colton really did go to heaven. Four year old Colton experienced a lot of things but the few things that really blew his family away. He met is miscarried sister that his family never told him about. He seen his grandpa as a young boy that he never got to meet because he died thirty years before Colton was born. Colton also met Jesus riding a rainbow colored horse and sat in Jesus' lap, while the angels sang hymns. He also claimed he saw Mary Kneeling before the thrown of God and at many other times standing by Jesus. I loved this book. I would love to be able to go to heaven and then come back and tell all my friends and family about the wonderful miracle that I experienced. It gives people who may not be so sure if Jesus is really or not evidence saying that he is clearly real. This is the best book ever to read. I recommend this book to everyone! This book may be written by Colton’s father but it’s told often in Colton’s own words. The simple message from Colton is that Heaven really is a real place, Jesus adores his children, and to be ready there is an upcoming last battle.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Todd Burpo’s “Heaven is for Real” is about a little boy named Colton Burpo, the author’s son, and his true story about going to heaven. Colton was a normal 4 year old happy little boy who would change the lives of others through his stories of heaven. After Colton’s appendix burst emergency surgery was needed and there was little hope that he would survive. His father, Todd Burpo, was a pastor and even though he had a tremendous amount of faith in God he found himself raging at God and asking why God would do something like this to one of his servants, “My heart raced. I couldn’t get my breath. Desperation, anger, and frustration washed over me in waves that seemed to squeeze way my breath” (39). After Colton’s miraculous surgery and recovery Colton starts to share stories about heaven with his parents. Over the next few years Colton’s parents hear story after story about their little boy’s trip to heaven. Colton talks about Jesus and he describes Jesus with brown hair, a beard, and beautiful eyes, and as Colton described Jesus his “face grew dreamy and far away, as if enjoying a particularly sweet memory” (65). Colton tells stories about people in heaven and how everyone has wings, and lights above their heads, and no one is old. He talks about an unborn sister which his parents “had explained to [Colton’s sister, but] she was older. But [Colton’s parents] hadn’t told Colton, judging the topic a bit beyond a four-year-old’s capacity to understand” (95). He describes a great-grandfather that he never met nor saw pictures of. He also talks about the throne room of God and sits beside God on either side. Colton has many more stories about heaven which include colors, the angels, a battle in heaven between good and evil, and Satan. This book brings a refreshing look on spirituality and has its readers looking at that spirituality from a child’s perspective. I find this perspective interesting because adults seem to complicate things to a point that something isn’t real unless it is seen with our own eyes, but children like Colton show us that maybe things are not so complicated, that things are actually rather simple and straight-forward. This simple story of a little boy who went to heaven can be read by anyone and can make a believer out of anyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Definitely! Reading this book, the number one thing that I kept thinking about is the author and what he must have gone through to write this after having to live it. The thought of almost losing your child is unimaginable, but the lessons learned are more powerful and should bring hope to everyone who reads it. I'd also recommend that you buy "When God Stopped Keeping Score," an intimate look at the power of God and forgiveness. Given the chance, it too will change your life.
Molly_Kelvington More than 1 year ago
In Heaven is for Real, author Todd Burpo writes about his son Colton, who at only four years old finds himself at death's doorstep while suffering from a rare illness in 2003. Burpo, a Wesleyan pastor from Kentucky, writes about the visions of Heaven that Colton had experienced during his life-threatening surgery. Colton had miraculous and unbelievable encounters with people he never knew, which convinced his parents that he was not making this up. This true story was very perplexing, as the idea of going to heaven and then coming back was hard for me to grasp, but I enjoyed the emotion and love the characters felt throughout. Four-year-old Colton Burpo was rushed into a hospital after five days of not receiving treatment for his burst appendix. His family thought this could be the last time they ever saw him, but he recovered from the surgery with the strangest insights of Heaven. But how could a four-year-old boy have gone to Heaven and then come back? Colton had met his miscarried sister in Heaven, whom no one had ever told him about. He also said he met his great-grandfather in Heaven, who had died 30 years before Colton was born; he shared details about him that were nearly impossible for Colton to know. These amazing stories of people Colton never knew made the evidence become clearer, and his family really started to wonder. Finally, he told about his encounters with Jesus, who was riding a horse when they met, and how the Holy Spirit “shoots down power” to help people on Earth, an idea which is very hard for a child to conceive. While reading this book, I felt many different emotions like confusion, joy, and sadness. Burpo made a very interesting choice with his writing style by writing in the voice of his son. The emotions Colton made me feel when he spoke were joyous and loving, as I could see the love between Colton, his family, and community after his encounters. Although this book is about Heaven, it is still relatable to people who don’t know that much about Heaven and Christianity. I would recommend this book to anyone who is able to read! It’s such a heartwarming and astounding tale that would be great for anyone.
atsfx More than 1 year ago
I give this book a 15/16. it is sad at the in. but great all around!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was exceptional in the sense that no matter what religion one practices, it makes the reader ask questions about this family's faith and a boy's supernatural experience. My faith was challenged while reading the story, as well as challenged me in many ways. It just goes to show that God can use a tragedy to change lives, proving that the statement 'Everything happens for a reason", is true.   The story was truly 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.  It is a must for anyone who wants to see Heaven through a child's eyes.
raebethmcgeebuda More than 1 year ago
When I first started this book, I had no idea what I was in store for. I was thinking that this little boy Colton would confirm the stories I had grown up with and learned since I was a child. As I started reading Colton's journey and learning more about him, I came to care for him and the outcome of his situation. I found myself crying when he needed to go back into the hospital or more tests needed done. I completely enjoyed reading this story. I'm a strong believer in Jesus Christ, so any book which one recommends for me to read, is put down on my to be read list. I recently (May 2013) experienced a loss of my own. I gave birth to my forever sleeping (stillborn) daughter. My world turned upside down and my faith became the stronger than it had ever been. I turned to Jesus, faith, and love for healing. That's when I sat down and prayed for my way of healing. I wrote my journey in a book "Saying Goodbye Without Saying Hello" and started my healing through pouring out my soul and hope within this book. Even ten months after her loss and my finding peace, I still question if she's sitting on Jesus' lap. As I read through Todd Burpo's book and his son's story, I came up to one spot that put me in tears. The moment I found out the Burpo's had also lost a baby and Colton had seen her in Heaven. That made me think, if the unborn child they lost made it to Heaven and was with Jesus, what made my daughter Dakota any different? I had to stop reading briefly while I cried at this realization. My baby is in fact with Jesus and Heaven is for Real confirmed it for me. This little boy and his extraordinary trip helped me to fully see that Jesus loves the children, including mine. This is by far one of the best books I have read this year and I even have an extra copy to giveaway. As I am an author myself, I can't wait to add this into one of the giveaways. If you're looking for a book that will have you thinking differently after and feeling the strong hope that I have now, you NEED to read this book!!
MichaelTravisJasper More than 1 year ago
This non-fiction book is written by a preacher father (with a little help from a ghost-writer) to tell the story of his four year old son nearly dying in surgery before returning to tell of visiting Heaven and meeting Jesus there. The story is both horrifyingly sad and inspirational. Various parts of the tale are very intriguing; however, sometimes the child’s vocabulary and turn of phrase seem a bit too adult or advanced. The boy’s revelations (pun intended) don’t seem to be recorded or documented much over the years as the details dribble out from him only occasionally, so perhaps the advanced speech patterns and articulation are a product of innocent paraphrasing on the part of the writers. I have to wonder why and how the parents were so patient about asking questions regarding Heaven and Jesus over a period of several years. It also seems odd that after learning that (spoiler alert) their miscarried daughter who awaits them in Heaven has no name (because they never gave her one), they don’t immediately give her one….Instead teasing each other that the first of them to get to Heaven (presumably decades later) will get to name her. I believe these people are trying to share an amazing miracle that happened in their lives in an attempt to help others, but there are some questionable passages. I think a lot of people would find this read rewarding, but I think they should not be afraid to question some content. ….Ultimately, I’m glad God sent back this little boy. Michael Travis Jasper, Author of the Novel “To Be Chosen”
JBergy More than 1 year ago
I honestly do not read much at all but I had heard good things about this one and decided to give it a shot. The topic of the book can be touchy to some people but I have faith and wanted that faith to expand. My mom and I read the book at the same time so it was nice to have someone to discuss it with. The book was really easy to read and hard to put down. It kept my interest and really made me think about things. One simple point in the story that made me think a lot was “having the faith of a child.” It is written in the father’s perspective but everything is based around the little boy, Colton. Hearing all of the stories that the young boy told was nice because it seemed genuine and simple. I would give it a 9 on a scale of 1 to 10 because it is a good read for everyone, faith or no faith, and the story itself was very amazing to me. I would recommend it to older teenagers and young adults who have ever questioned different things like God and spirituality.
Miguelitoe More than 1 year ago
“Heaven is for Real” is a good book to come across in my opinion. It captured my interest when describing their second vacation and going back in time to bring us to an understanding of that scenario. There were points that depending on your believes will seem contradicting. Knowing that the father was a pastor made me somewhat skeptical of certain things that were said by his son, probably adding a personal bias to the story. Other than that the book brings you into the life of this family, and you really get to know Colton and his parents. Throughout the book he describes all aspects of his life and all the adventures that lead Colton to eventually start describing his amazing adventure in Heaven. He doesn’t leave anything behind taking me with him every step of the way where I too started to feel what he was feeling throughout this experience. I would recommend this book to anyone really wanting a glimpse of heaven. No one can know better and know something to be truer than one who was as young as Colton. His experience can help those whom might have questions about an after life and or maybe a desire to have a better understanding of God’s plan.
Jennylyn14 More than 1 year ago
Heaven Is for Real is the true story of the four-year old son of a small town Nebraska pastor who during emergency surgery slips from consciousness and enters heaven. He survives and begins talking about being able to look down and see the doctor operating and his dad praying in the waiting room. The family didn't know what to believe but soon the evidence was clear. Colton said he met his miscarried sister whom no one had told him about, and his great grandfather who died 30 years before Colton was born, then shared impossible-to-know details about each. He describes the horse that only Jesus could ride, about how "reaaally big" God and his chair are, and how the Holy Spirit "shoots down power" from heaven to help us. Told by the father but often in Colton's own words, the disarmingly simple message is heaven is a real place, Jesus really loves children, and be ready there is a coming last battle.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So, Todd Burpo isn't a best-selling author, but that doesn't mean this isn't a great read, as some of the other reviewers have said. Nobody knows for sure what heaven will be like, so you can't say Colton is wrong. And, of course this book is from Todd's point of view. But, that does not invalidate what Colton has said.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read a lot of 'near death' books, so I was excited to read this one to hear a child's version. I was disappointed, I beleive the father is making most of it up to heighten his ministry. I do not recommend this book to anyone except the people that belong to the father's parish.