Saturday, April 14, 2012

Review of the book, Heaven is for Real, by Todd Burpo

Heaven is for Real is a new acquisition in the Dick Smith Library that is quite popular and with good reason. This is an endearing story of a little boy’s journey to heaven and back told from the father’s perspective. As a three-year-old child, Colton Burpo, has to have an emergency appendectomy after suffering for almost a week with symptoms.  The circumstances of the boy’s health are precarious and the parents struggle with the guilt of not recognizing the signs of their son's appendicitis, questioning the divine in their life, taking care of their older child, job responsibilities, and the child's unstable recovery. When the family returns home several weeks later with a healing child, Colton, occasionally pops up with odd phrases or stories that he tells in a matter-of-fact kind of way that slowly lead the parents to begin to add things up and deduce that their son is actually recounting his experiences in heaven. Since young children often waver between reality and imagination, the parents are, at first, leery of the boy’s stories, however, over the course of a few months, they put together the evidence that verifies for them that their son’s encounter is genuine.  The descriptions that the boy gives of angels, relatives that have previously died, and the vivid colors of heaven allow the reader to enjoy his experiences and to see the wonder of life, in this world and beyond, through the eyes of a child.

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