John James Stroud | For The Love of the Bitterroot

Montana author's book celebrates the humble Bitterroot and his triumph over dyslexia

Books & Writers
Save The Bitterroot
Save The Bitterroot

John Stroud has gained statewide recognition for his fight to save the Montana’s state flower – the Bitterroot – from extinction due to loss of much of its natural habitat. His efforts have earned this Bitterroot Valley resident the nickname Johnny Bitterroot Seed.

His autobiography, published by Stoneydale Press of Stevensville, utilizes text and photographs, to tell Stroud’s life story. It’s even more remarkable because of Stroud’s life-long affliction of dyslexia. He only learned to read in his 60s, with the help of retired teacher Ila Niemann, and went on to write two books.

“I can read up to a low third-grade level,” he told the Ravalli Republic. “I still struggle. I’ve written a book now that I can’t even read.” Stroud spent nearly three years working with Noel Hunt, who transcribed his stories on a computer.

The autobiography “is an incredible testimony to a life in which downright grit and a will to achieve has triumphed over an affliction that John’s will couldn’t change – but still he found deliverance,” wrote Stevensville author Dale Burk. “It hasn’t been an easy ride for John. Like most disabilities, he coped as best he could and most of all it was his perseverance – and the help of a few incredible people … that prevailed.”

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