Customer Reviews: Heaven is for Real Movie Edition: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back
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on March 26, 2014
I'm generally pretty skeptical of "I went to heaven but came back and now I'm going to tell you all about it" kinds of books. I just think there are some things... ok, a lot of things, that God leaves as mysteries for us. I have to say, though, that Heaven is for Real is very compelling- it feels true. I read it cover to cover in less than 24 hours.

I know we can't base everything on feelings, especially with our faith, but let me tell you a few reasons why Heaven is for Real made me a believer-

1. The experience happened to an innocent, untainted child and his admissions seem to have come about very naturally, not coerced.
2. From what I can tell (except for MAYBE where he said the nail holes were on Jesus' hands instead of his wrists) everything lines up with scripture.
3. The reserve his parents had for many years in even sharing Colton's story and the way they went about it causes me to believe that they genuinely wanted to share something life changing that happened in their family with others to offer hope and ultimately to point people back to Jesus as the only way.

Beyond the cold, hard reasons why I feel this book is most likely not fabricated, I also have some gut reactions to the words in its pages. Just like Colton's mother, I too have lost a child to miscarriage and the thought of him being up there, with my great grandmother no less, and being adopted by God, it strikes a big cord with me. When I lost my Micah I very distinctly had the feeling that he went to be with Jesus when I released him to go be well. I had the overwhelming impression in my soul that he would be "raised" by God himself and even his name, which came to me out of the blue late one night, means "Resembles God" which I figured he would if he was being raised by the almighty Himself. So, the stories in this book lined up with and confirmed for me some very personal experiences and standpoints, to top it all off.

To go beyond just the original book, though, I have the movie version that contains interviews and pictures from the set as well as an updated interview with Colton. I always prefer to read a book before I see a movie anyway, but I liked that this version gave me a little more insight into the movie as well, which I appreciated. I must say that I had hoped to hear more life changing testimonies out of the actors and others involved, but I'm glad that at least seeds have been planted in them through their participation in the making of this film.

I enjoyed this book immensely, highly recommend it and also believe that it will probably cause you to want to see the movie as much as I now do. More than seeing a feature film, however, this book strikes a new excitement and anticipation for heaven and that is always a good thing.
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As I sit here, I’m trying to figure out how to start this review, I feel stuck.

I’m not sure how to start. How to express how much I REALLY enjoyed this book and how I’ve already marked April 16th on my calendar to go see the movie.

I’ve seen the original book Heaven is for Real quite a few times on the local book shelves, but never really paid much attention to it. It wasn’t until I saw the trailer for the movie that I decided I really wanted to read the book first.

It took me all of maybe 2 days to read this book. Reading about the Burpo family, all that they went through, what Colton experienced, and the days after, had me reading for hours.

At times I felt like I was sitting down next to Mr. Burpo and listening to him tell me the story in person. Heaven is for Real is written in such a way that you feel like you could be the Burpo’s neighbor. You feel close to them, and if you’re a Christian, you can probably relate to some of their questions, worries, and struggles with everything that happened.

I was encouraged by Todd’s love not only for the Lord, but also for his family. His honesty about how this whole ordeal shook his faith,even as a pastor. It’s not fake. It’s not mushy. It’s a real story, and a real family.

Todd lets you in on his struggles - Being made at God and asking others to pray over his family. At the darkest time of their lives, Todd realizes he needs to let go and ask for help.

Than there’s the beautiful innocence of Colton. Just a little boy telling his family, in small doses, that he went to Heaven and sat in Jesus’ lap, that he got to meet his sister (his mother had a miscarriage), and his Pop (grandfather), and saw so many wonderful things about heaven.

The way Colton speaks about what happens to him is just simply beautiful. So very simple, so packed with comfort, peace, and love. When asked why Jesus died on the cross, Colton simply replies “Well, Jesus told me he died on the cross so we could go see His Dad.” WOW!

I loved how the Burpo family lets us in on this amazing happening and shares some of the most personal and intimate moments with us the reader.

My copy of Heaven is for Real is all dog eared with things I thought I would share to you, but there’s just so many wonderful things in this book.. I can’t share them all. You’ll just have to get the book yourself.

I also enjoyed that this book was the Special Movie Edition. Not only do you read the original story, but there are updates from the Burpo family, interviews with the producers, actors, and writers of the movie.

I HIGHLY recommend getting a copy of this book. It’s a beautiful read. Something you can share with someone too that may have lost someone and is wondering if there really is a Heaven..
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on March 29, 2014
Amazing!! This book is simply wonderful. I read this book in less than a day!! I could not put it down. I have been a believer for years and this book still made Heaven a concept that was so much more understandable. I loved the way the story was told, and realness of their reactions to this event. I loved when Todd shared that he was angry with God and yelling at him - it was nice to see a pastor being real about those feelings.

I also loved the interviews with the cast and the family at the end of this book!

I have recommended this book to everyone I know since reading it. My 11 year old son is even reading it!!
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on March 29, 2014
Heaven is for Real is an amazing story about four year old Colton's journey to heaven and back as told by his dad, Todd Burpo. This book gives you an inside look at the roller coaster ride the Burpo family went on as they discover that their son literally paid a visit to heaven.

My favorite part was the simplistic way Colton nonchalantly shared different facts about heaven. They were conveyed naturally and didn't seem at all coerced. I was also greatly challenged by the urgency Colton had in regards to salvation. He lived as if heaven IS real and wanted to share that with others to make sure they ended up there.

I had read the original Heaven is for Real book published back in 2010. With the movie coming out on April 16th, this new book version adds almost 50 pages dedicated specifically to the movie. There are interviews with Colton Burpo, Producer Joe Roth, Screenwriter Randall Wallace, and all the actors - including Greg Kinear, who plays Todd Burpo. The added pages definitely enhance this new book version, especially if you plan on seeing the movie.

I can't say enough about this book! I highly recommend it for all ages and I guarantee that you will never look at heaven the same way again.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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on June 3, 2014
This book is the story of the Burpo family whose son Colton had a burst appendix when he was four years old. Later on, Colton tells his parents that he was in heaven and starts sharing with them some of the things he saw there. This book is the story of Colton's parents trying to learn more about heaven through Colton's stories.

Reviewing this book is going to be difficult. First of all, I will say that I enjoyed the writing throughout the book. It was written in a way that was easy to follow and interesting enough to hold my attention. That alone really made me want to like the book.

However, I didn't really like the book. I'll preface this by saying that I was pretty disbelieving of the entire story before I even started reading the book. However, I was also intrigued enough to want to hear it all. In the end, I wasn't convinced at all that Colton really went to heaven. That being said, I don't think the Burpos are lying. I think Colton really believes he went to heaven, and I think the Burpos really believe he went there too. However, nothing Colton says actually convinces me he did.

I believe it's far more likely that Colton was always told that when you die you go to heaven, and when he was in such a scary situation, he really did imagine he was in heaven to a degree that he thought was real. After all, the doctors never tell the Burpos that Colton actually died for any length of time, even though his situation was very serious. The book likes to make claims over and over again (almost as if they're pounding it into you) that Colton couldn't have learned this one piece of information because he was so young and what young kid has reached this level of theological understanding. That makes no sense to me though. Colton's dad is a preacher. I know without a doubt that there was a ton of religious discussion going on around Colton from the time he was born. Sure, most of it went straight to his subconscious, and he probably couldn't have pulled it up on his own. However, stuff in the subconscious can come to your conscious at the strangest of times, and I'm pretty sure the fear Colton felt and his subsequent imagings of heaven would be more than enough to help him suddenly remember the variety of things he'd heard and dismissed over his lifetime.

Overall, I enjoyed the writing style of the book, but as for the actual argument that Colton went to heaven, the book only strengthened my feelings that he didn't. There are just too many other explanations that make far more sense to me.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <[...]> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <[...]> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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on February 2, 2015
the Child and his mother have been saying for years that he made it up and they have tried to get this book pulled without luck it seems.
After being unable to get it pulled quietly they went public on the internet.
Please do an internet search to learn the truth.
amazon should honor their wishes and pull this fraud.
I will not repeat what the mother has to say about the father and author and publishers, it is on the internet.
thank you
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on March 31, 2014
This amazing believe able because it is told incorporating a child's recounting of heavenly events.

Highly recommend to anyone.
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on June 12, 2014
This is the story of a little boy’s near-death vision of heaven (I haven’t yet seen the movie). While there are some serious theological and scriptural problems with it, it is an interesting read. It is written from a fundamentalist Protestant point of view by a rural Midwestern Wesleyan preacher who supports himself by running a garage door company. I do not know much about his background, but from the book it appears that he preaches more from the heart than from a solid theological or scriptural education. I do not believe that he intentionally falsified anything, but he accepts such non-scriptural ideas as that everyone in heaven except Jesus has wings, and their size seems to have some significance. He also accepts the little boy’s childlike claim that Jesus has a rainbow-colored horse. This is cute and sentimental, but hardly theological, and sounds uncomfortably close to the old toy "My Little Pony." The boy had never been told of a miscarriage that his mother had had several years earlier, yet he knew about it, allegedly from meeting the unborn child in heaven. This sounds miraculous until we find out that his older sister had been told of it. It is not hard to picture her telling her brother. Lit-tle children are not noted for keeping secrets. Also, the boy claims that everyone in heaven is a young adult in his physical prime, yet he says he sat on Jesus’ lap. This conjures up a rather curious image. The process of the boy’s telling of his experiences in heaven took several years. In reading the book I cannot help the feeling that Burpo unconsciously and unintentionally prompted the child to say some of the things that he did.
Before taking the book too seriously, one should also read D. Eric Williams’ "Heaven Is For Real, the Book Isn’t." Both books are easy to read and can be completed in a single long evening. Williams is also a fundamentalist Protestant who challenges many of the premises of the boy’s vision. Both he and Burpo are steeped in "sola Scriptura," “only the Bible,” the doctrine that the Bible is the only source of revelation. This is rejected by the Catholic traditions, which believe that while the Bible contains all things necessary to salvation, the Holy Spirit uses many other sources as well to reveal his truth.
I do not mean to discourage anyone from reading the book or seeing the movie, but I admonish those who do so not to get caught up in the sentimentality of it. It is easy to want it all to be true, but a reasonable amount of doubt is healthy.
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on January 18, 2015
Some people will believe anything.
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on March 28, 2014
When I was told to read this book I did so to compare it with the upcoming movie. I couldn't put it down. Read 17 chapters the first night and finished in the morning. When I saw that the movie was going to start on April 16, 2014 I started to tear up, my son would have been 30 on this day. He past away in 2009. I felt this was God's way of letting me know that he was fine and that I would be seeing him again. Can't wait to see the movie.
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