Heaven is for Real


by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent


Thmoas Nelson Publishers


Reader Appeal: Parents


Genre: Memoir


PopFam Rating: A


Disclaimer: This book claims a miraculous vision of heaven, something that’s impossible to verify and may actually be untrue. For the purposes of this review, however, PopFam assumes that the authors told the truth.


Heaven is for Real is a powerful and gripping story of a young boy’s journey to the heavenly realms and back. What I originally thought would be a light read quickly became a page turning, emotional rollercoaster ride. As the reader, you get to experience not only the fear of losing a child, but also the peace that can only come from Jesus. This memoir is an engaging read for young adults and parents alike.


Claiming to be a true story, Heaven is for Real is written by pastor, Todd Burpo (with ghostwriter, Lynn Vincent), about the journey that changed his family’s life forever. What started off as a vacation to Colorado became much more than they ever could have expected when Todd’s youngest child, Colton became violently ill. The family was thrust into overwhelming fear as they rushed Colton to the emergency room.


Upon receiving a wrong diagnosis, the family was told there was no hope for their three-year-old son. They were forced to watch as he quickly began to lose the battle for his life. Desperate, they turned to a nearby children’s hospital. There, Colton was able to get the care he needed—but doctors once again tell them there may be no hope, offering nothing but a risky surgery to help cure their boy.


With no other options, Colton’s parents agree to the surgery and watched as their son was taken away, knowing this could be the last time they saw him alive. The surgery took hours, and in the meantime, Colton’s parents prayed and waited. They hoped for a miracle, and prayed for much more, feeling relief only when the surgery was over and successful. They thought the miracle was the sparing of Colton’s life, little did they know, God had something even more special in store… a glimpse of heaven.


Months later, the family decided to take another trip, and that was when Colton let them know what he experienced during his surgery.


The begins by telling them about angel songs and the face of Jesus, and then proceeds to tell them even more about heaven. A few of the topics he addresses in the following months include: miscarriage, the death of loved ones, a coming war, and the love of God.


The content is easy to read and delivers a great message for those who can understand the depths of the topics which are discussed. Many people have already read this memoir—and have made it a #1 New York Times bestseller. It’s easy to see why: Through the experience of this one family’s tribulations, we as readers get a hint of the hope of heaven.


Heaven is for Real is a heartfelt and well thought out story, which will take the reader through every type of emotion. As the family grieves and rejoices, so will you. You will find comfort, empathy and even better yet, confirmation of a loving Father.


Let’s Talk About It


If your family members are interested in this book, then encourage discussion about it afterward. You can use these questions to get started:


• What sort of things would you say or do if given the chance to meet Jesus?


• Have you ever lost someone special? If so, how would it feel to get to meet them again?


• Do you believe Jesus allows people to experience pain and suffering for a reason?




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