MARION, N.C. -- Duffy Strode, the youngster whose shouted schoolyard preachings against 'whoremongers' and 'fornicators' earned him repeated suspensions from classes, said Wednesday he likes a book written about the controversy surrounding his preaching family.
The book, to be published in April by Earthquake Publications of Suffolk, Va., is mainly a series of in-depth interviews by writer Michael Craig Clark of Strode's street-preaching father, David Strode, said Saul Detmer, the publisher.
'I got a copy at the house. It's pretty good so far but I haven't finished it,' Duffy Strode said.
The 11-year-old's mother, Robin Strode, said the book, 'Say Not, I am a Child' tells the truth about the family's problems.
'I think it's rather good because it tells the story. It's not all negative like the news media has printed,' she said. 'It tells just how the people in the town treated us, how my husband couldn't get a job and how the churches have turned against us.'
David Strode, who has since found work as a machinist and was at work Wednesday, could not be reached for comment.
The Strodes moved to Marion from Chambersburg, Pa., where David Strode was arrested five times for preaching on the street.
The family gained national recognition when Duffy Strode began preaching on the campus at Eastfield Elementary School before classes at the start of the 1987-88 school year and was repeatedly suspended from school for being disruptive.
Duffy was joined by his two siblings -- Pepper, 7, and Matthew, 6 - in the campus preaching.
School officials said the preaching, which included warnings about 'whoremongers' and 'fornicators,' disrupted school. The children, like their father, shouted their words.
After the three children were suspended the first day of summer school last August, David Strode decided to teach them at home with a Bible-based education program.
'The classes are going pretty good,' Robin Strode said. 'They seem to be doing pretty well with them. They study math, English, reading and, of course, the Bible. I just gave Pepper an English test.'
The family spent its vacation last summer on the national talk show circuit, where Duffy demonstrated his preaching style for such television personalities as Larry King, Sally Jessy Raphael and Oprah Winfrey.
Detmer said the 327-page book is the company's first publication and he anticipates a first printing of 10,000 copies.
'The author has had an in-depth interview with Mr. Strode on several issues, such as the Bible versus the Constituion, the Equal Rights Amendment, education, integration and many other controversial subjects,' Detmer said.
'Over half the book is the author's editorial viewpoint about what these issues mean in the longterm,' he said. 'Some of it is written very Andy-Rooneyish.'