BOOK SIGNING IN HILLSBORO THIS SATURDAY WITH MY DAUGHTER

Dated: 10/19/2016

Views: 500


NEWS-TIMES/TRIBUNE PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Amy Aalto , along with her stepson Jeremiah, penned a children's book from their own experience adjusting to new family dynamics.

NEWS-TIMES/TRIBUNE PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Amy Aalto , along with her stepson Jeremiah, penned a children's book from their own experience adjusting to new family dynamics.

For children, adjusting to a new family member can be quite challenging — especially when the change is a new stepparent coming into the picture. Sometimes, it can even be difficult for the newcomer.

That’s how Forest Grove resident Amy Aalto felt when she married her husband Paul nearly nine years ago.

Aalto grew up in Oregon and cherished books and writing from a young age. When she became a full-time mom to her stepson Jeremiah, her dream of writing a children’s book became a mission.

“Sometimes, when a new parent comes into a family, issues of loss and abandonment can come into play,” she said. “We were dealing with some tough feelings around heartbreak, confusion — this is something that many blended families deal with.”

Aalto searched far and wide to find a children’s book on the subject that could help Jeremiah adjust to the big changes coming. But to her surprise, nothing turned up.

That’s when she and Jeremiah began to collaborate on a book that could give children in similar situations a voice. With the help of her son, they’ve crafted a genuine perspective and story in the form of “Room in My Heart.”

The new book provides a look at a child’s feelings as they accept a stepparent and adjust to a new family life. The work encourages the acceptance of love from a new parent without feeling guilt or the need to choose between a birth parent and a stepparent.

“When Jeremiah was five, we wrote some drafts,” said Aalto. “I was never really good at drawing, so eventually we ended up hiring an illustrator.”

Now, Jeremiah is 14 years old, and the book was published in back in May. Although it’s been quite a process, Aalto and Jeremiah are excited to get the word out.

“I really think it’s an amazing thing,” said Aalto. “It really touches on how we feel about one another.”

“We’ve definitely grown a lot, I even call her ‘mom’ now,” said Jeremiah. “We’ve been through a lot of things, and over the years we’ve really gotten closer together.”

The book even sparked future plans for the duo to author more books together. “Room in My Heart” could be the first of many works by Aalto and Jeremiah — they plan to tackle more subjects as well as some fantasy stories.

“We really think it’ll hit a chord for the right audiences,” Aalto said.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Oregon, and currently lives in Forest Grove with her family. Both Aalto and Jeremiah have reached out to libraries around Washington County to promote their recent work, and have a couple of in-person appearances coming up.

They’ll be at Jan’s Paperback, 18095 S.W. Tualatin Valley Highway, in Aloha on Oct. 22 and Dec. 3 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to greet people while discussing “Room in My Heart.”

“Being a stepparent, full time non-biological parent, and everything in between is hard work,” said Aalto. “I hope this book helps other parents who love and care for a child every day that’s not theirs biologically, but theirs in every other way.”


This is my daughter who as a child was in a book club and looked forward each month to her new books arriving. I am so proud of her! She is now a mother, author and wife, along with working a full time job. 

Latest Blog Posts

3 Reasons To Use A Real Estate Pro In A Complex Digital World

3 Reasons to Use a Real Estate Pro in a Complex Digital WorldIf you’re searching for a home online, you’re not alone; lots of people are doing it. The question is, are you using all of your

Read More

3 Reasons This Is NOT The 2008 Real Estate Market

No one knows for sure when the next recession will occur. What is known, however, is that the upcoming economic slowdown will not be caused by a housing market crash, as was the case in 2008. There

Read More

Homes Are Selling Quickly

Some Highlights: The National Association of REALTORS® surveyed their members for the release of their Confidence Index. The REALTORS® Confidence Index is a key

Read More

You Need More Than A Guide You Need A Sherpa

In a normal housing market, whether you’re buying or selling a home, you need an experienced guide to help you navigate the process. You need someone you can turn to who will tell you how to price

Read More