Another Column at MyShelf.Com

Before the Title, Past
A Nonfiction Column
By Willie Elliott

Heaven Is Real
Through the Eyes of a Three-Year-Old Boy

Whether you believe the story completely or not, Heaven Is for Real will grab the your attention and hold it throughout the book. The book recounts a little boy's astonishing story of his trip to heaven and back.

The reader has two choices to make: either the child went to heaven or thinks he did (which to him means he did it) or the parents used their child as a way of publishing a top-rated book. Frankly, the Burpos's come across as much too kind and caring to abuse (and that is what it would be) their own child in this manner.

A great deal of space is devoted to the family hardships prior to Colton's (the name of the little boy) adventure. The reader will soon see why this is important to the whole story.

There are some parts that the reader may bicker with the child about heaven. For example the way people will look when we meet them in heaven. I thought that is not the way it will be, and then I thought who am I to argue with a little boy who has been there and back when all I have is my preconceived notions of what it might be like.

I came to know about this book through comments from my friends on Facebook so I decided to ask them for comments on the book. Bobby Akers, a former student and high school teacher, said, “Whether it happened or not (and I believe it did) the book has inspired thousands of people. Isn't that what truly counts?” Janice Shepherd, who used to be my editor at the local newspaper, said, “Read it too, Willie. I believe it is real—after all, Heaven is real..and such is (the innocence of children) is the Kingdom of Heaven.” Vee Honea, another former student wrote, “I was most impressed with how much it changed the lives of his family and how it inspired them during such difficult times. We so often spend too much time wondering if good things are real and neglect to see the wonderful ripple effect.

A former fellow teacher Joan Caldwell reported, “Mr. E. I would have said it was one of the most compelling books I have read IF I had not just finished reading Mary Beth Chapman Choosing To See. Now that book swept me away and left me unable to compare it with any other nonfiction. I had to put it down a number of times and just weep. It has stayed with me a long time.” So I got her general impression of Heaven Is for Real and the lead to another nonfiction book. Look for a column on that one in the future.

One other comment on the book. The publishers certainly knew their marketing skill on this one. Just look at the book on the shelf with the little boy's photo and the book practically begs you to pick it up and read it.

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