The Patriot has reviewed several of the summer reading options for this year. A student committee has been formed to allow for student opinion in choosing the summer reading book for 2012. To read more about changes to the summer reading program, click here.
Perhaps the finest way to perceive the divine is through the eyes of another, especially through the eyes of a child. This concept is exemplified in the must read New York Times best seller, “Heaven Is for Real” by Todd Burpo.
Burpo illustrates the miraculous and true story of his son Colton’s trip to heaven and back. Although there have been many accounts of visions of Jesus, heaven, and so forth throughout history, Colton Burpo’s proclamation is different. Occurring when Colton was just three years old, his account seems more believable and authentic. Colton’s experience begins when what appears to be a case of the flu is uncovered to be a ruptured appendix.
Rather than describing each event concisely, Burpo drags out the experience with superfluous details about the family’s vacation to Greeley, Colorado. Perhaps this was his way of illustrating how long the poison was in his son’s body, but it was unneeded and estranged the readers from the true plot of the book. Following Colton’s surgery, he was not getting any better. Then, one day, he was back to his normal self. It was a miracle. Colton had been on the brink of death and had somehow healed.
Four months after the hospital, Colton began to tell stories about Heaven, even pinpointing Jesus’ facial features right down to His eyes. In his family’s eyes, these testaments backed up Colton’s assertion that he had traveled to heaven. Although Burpo’s writing has minor grammatical glitches, he tells his son’s remarkable story with humor and charisma. Colton’s astounding encounters overshadow the flaws in his writing and the fluff added to the plot.
A little boy’s astounding story will cause readers to think twice about their beliefs and heaven itself. Getting a glimpse into heaven and all of its mysteries through the untarnished eyes of a pint-sized believer will cause readers to wonder where they are bound to end up when their time expires here on earth. Colton’s story will give readers a reason to believe that “Heaven Is for Real.”
Kailey Tracy is a Copy Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com