By Carolyn Lee
The Imperial Republican
The “Heaven is for Real” and “Heaven is for Real for Kids” books, written by Sonja and Todd Burpo and son Colton, respectively, continue to stay on the bestselling lists.
Now, they’re about to be joined in print by “Heaven Changes Everything,” a devotional reader written by the Burpos.
Todd Burpo said the book will be go to press Friday, and will be on sale in hardback next October.
It’s a “next step book,” he said. “We talk about what we went through with Colton,” who had a near-death experience at age four and saw heaven.
So many people have asked so many questions about how the Burpo family operates, what’s next for the Imperial family, and questions about God and heaven, that the Burpos decided to address these issues.
In addition, as Colton, an eighth grader now, grew, he could explain his experience in more detail, so more details were added to this book that weren’t in the first one, Burpo said.
During emergency surgery Colton slipped into heaven, survived and began talking about meeting a miscarried sister and his great grandfather, who died 30 years before Colton was born.
The new book offers Sonja’s woman’s viewpoint, Burpo said, as well as his own.
“It deals with difficult questions people ask us,” such as a woman who had an abortion and was now confronting the fact that she might meet the child in heaven.
The book begins with some excerpts from “Heaven is for Real,” and “speaks about the truth God taught us,” Burpo, who is a minister at Crossroads Wesleyan Church, said.
“Heaven is for Real for Kids” just received a 2012 Christian Retailers Choice Award July 25 in the children’s non-fiction category.
That book and the others are published by Thomas Nelson, Inc., the world’s largest Christian publisher.
On the lists
As of July 7, “Heaven is for Real” had been on the bestseller list for 86 weeks. It was #6 on the print paperback nonfiction list, #13 on the print hardcover and paperback combined nonfiction list, #7 on the E-book nonfiction list and #7 on the combined print and E-book nonfiction list.
It first appeared on the bestseller list Dec. 5, 2010, one month after the publication date. Additional categories were added beginning Feb. 13, 2011.
“Heaven is for Real” moved up 10 places on the July 12, 2012 edition of USA Today to #57. It has been on that list for 85 weeks.
Burpo will meet with a potential director next week to discuss a movie version of “Heaven is for Real.”
The starting point, Burpo said, is the screenplay. When that is completed, the screenwriter, Burpo and the director will work on the screenplay until it meets their satisfaction.
A final contract hasn’t been signed yet, Burpo said. However, he’s looking at a fall 2014 release.
The Burpo family recently returned from Singapore, where they gave a program. They plan to travel to Canada this fall.
In the meantime, they’re still recording interviews for television shows such as The Today Show and a new Katie Couric show.
There are also speaking engagements across the country, which generate as many responses as the books do.
The minister said, “Heaven is for Real” has generated 8,000 reviews on the Barnes & Noble website alone.
“You get all sorts of responses,” he said. “For every critic we have 10 people who say it really helped them.
“When you talk about heaven or faith in this world, you can count on a negative reaction, but you can’t wish away God,” he stated.
“You can accept or reject God, but you can’t negotiate with Him,” he said.
To learn more about the Burpo’s ministry see www.hifrministries.org. To learn more about the “Heaven” products see www.heavenisforreal.net.