Heaven is for Real

Book Review

Hello fellow readers! I literally just finished the amazing and heartfelt book, “Heaven is for Real”, by Todd Burpo and I could not wait to share it with you! I remember hearing about it a few years back, but I never got around to reading it. What I discovered was a very uplifting, spiritual book that gave me an uplifting feeling of hope, enhanced my faith, and convinced me that heaven is for real.

Heaven is for Real is a true-story, written by a pastor, and father of a young boy who took a brief, but eventful journey to heaven and back. In 2003, the Burpo family took a family trip to Greeley, Colorado. Prior to the trip, Colton, the four-year-old son, had been suffering from what was thought to be a bad case of the stomach flu. He appeared to have recovered, so the family went on their trip, excited to get away from home for a while. Unfortunately, Colton had been misdiagnosed, and after a long trip to the hospital it was discovered that he had actually been suffering from a ruptured appendix. With the infection spreading quickly, Colton was rushed into surgery, and underwent a long and taxing recovery that had many of its own scares, with Colton’s life hanging in the balance the entire time.

The climax of the novel occurred when Todd sees Colton’s lifeless body and realized that his son might be taken away from him. His faith is pushed to the brink, and he yelled at God, questioning how he could let his son die so young. “After the leg, the kidney stones, the lumpectomy, this is how you’re going to let me celebrate the end of my times of testing?” I yelled at God. “You’re going to take my son?” (Burpo, 40) This was a very emotional part of the book, and had me question my own faith and wonder why bad things happen to good people.

To the relief of his family and the medical staff, Colton eventually made a full recovery. Even though the situation that faced the Burpo family was extremely scary, one moment that I found some comic relief occurred when the doctors explained that it would be a sign that Colton was on the mend when he was able to pass gas. Pastor Burpo reached for this sign and had his entire congregation pray for Colton to pass gas! I guess there is a first time for everything.

Four months after Colton left the hospital that his parents realized and started to understand that Colton had had a very unique experience during his surgery. “Do you remember the hospital, Colton?” Sonja said. “Yes, mommy, I remember,” he said. “That’s where the angels sang to me.” (Burpo, xvii) This quotation is when Colton’s mother, Sonja, first heard about her little boy’s out of body experience. Throughout the novel, Todd and Sonia continue their journey to discover the truth about Colton’s trip to heaven and back.

The central characters of the book were Colton and his father Todd, both of whom underwent a significant and lasting change, making them dynamic characters in Heaven is for Real. Colton’s view on life and death was forever altered by his trip to Heaven. For example, when Todd was trying to explain to Colton the danger of running onto the road without checking for cars, he pointed to a dead animal on the road and stated, “ That’s a bunny who was trying to cross the street and didn’t make it… That’s what can happen if you run out and a car doesn’t see you! You could not only get hurt; you could die!” Colton responded “ Oh good! That means I get to go back to heaven!” Colton would no longer be scared of death, as he had seen first hand what was on the other side. Todd also went through a drastic change, proving to be another dynamic character. As a pastor, he was a man of faith, a faith that was questioned and was just about lost once his son had almost died. His faith returned to him stronger then ever as he began to learn about Colton’s experience in heaven.

Heaven is for Real is a must read. I recommend this book for those whom have lost loved ones. It is a comforting story that might help those going through grief. Personally, I have lost people who I love dearly and Heaven is for Real gives me comfort knowing that there really could be heaven and one day I will see them again. The novel makes the concept of death seem less scary. This true, heart-warming story has enhanced my faith and gives me hope in a life after death.

I definitely recommend this book and would encourage everyone to give it a read!

Happy reading!


Book rating: 8/10

Comment Stream