Book Review: Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo


Colton, a small 4 year old, had a near death experience. On a family vacation, he got very sick and was on the verge of dying. Later, his parents find out he went to heaven. He didn’t die, but he went to heaven and little by little, he retells the sights he saw and his new-found knowledge to his pastor father and others.

There isn’t much to say about this book. It’s a nonfiction Christian inspirational novel that’s a pretty quick read. There isn’t really anything special about the writing, Todd Burpo is just relying the facts of his and his son’s experiences during those couple years.

It’s pretty interesting, whether you’re Christian or not. I was curious about his experiences, and it’s pretty funny to see how a small child gives short outbursts on his trip to heaven while the adults agonize over the details. Colton isn’t pushed, and he doesn’t say anything right out because the parents don’t want to put ideas into his head. Slowly, after years, they get the full story of his time in heaven, and Colton isn’t baffled by it in the slightest.

This would also be a good beach read. It’s a very quick novel, the writing isn’t full of fancy words and lengthy descriptions, and the entire story is pretty interesting. Burpo gets the facts down in a simple and not confusing way, and this keeps the reader interested in the actual story line to focus on Colton’s experiences rather than writing techniques.

There’s a couple things I didn’t like, but this really doesn’t affect the entirety of the book. First of all, I felt like the phrases “because I’m a pastor” or “I’m a pastor, so” were used way too much. Yes, I know you’re a pastor. It’s already been said 10 times, so there is no reason to start every sentence relating to church activities with “because I’m a pastor.”

And, this really can’t be helped, though, I felt like his daughter was completely neglected! She didn’t go to heaven, so it was like okay get out of my face I’m trying to focus on your brother. I’m sure they didn’t do that in real life, and the book is about Colton, but it made me sad for her.

So overall, it’s a quick Christian inspirational novel with a simple writing style and an intriguing story.

3 Stars



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