Run Baby Run
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Run Baby Run

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  5,701 ratings  ·  124 reviews
This is the thrilling story of Nicky Cruz's desperate battle against drugs, alcoholism, and a violent environment, as he searched for a better way of life on the streets of New York City.
Paperback, 336 pages
Published December 1st 1988 by Bridge-Logos (first published 1969)
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Having read The Cross and the Switchblade as well as Lonely but Never Alone in 1990, I thought I knew the story well enough not to still bother with "Run Baby Run". I mean, if you've heard it once, you've heard it all ... besides, I couldn't get hold of this book at our local library then.

But I was wrong. This book reveals far more details of Cruz' life before he ran away from home - here you have his motivations and start to understand his fear once he's the leader of the Mau Maus. In fact, it...more
V.S. Carnes
I've read this one several times. Each time, it only seems more powerful.
Kelly Gordon
Run Baby Run is a novel about a boy named Nicky Cruz. He lives in Puerto Rico, and moves to New York to live with his brother. When getting to New York he drops out of school and soon leaves his brother’s house. He now has no place to live or food, which leads him to rob in order to provide for himself. Nicky then becomes president of the Mau Mau gang where at the time was the most violent gang. One day a preacher meets this gang and Nicky agrees to attend one of the services. After being in sev...more
Shweta Paropkari
It's not possible for me to rate this book because I just cannot decide if I liked it or not. Parts of it were interesting, gripping even, but there were few things that simply offended me (In the foreword for example, Prof. Edward calls homosexuality a "perversion" and a "moral degeneration").

In the initial chapters you can feel hate oozing out of the book. It's difficult to believe that hate could build to such an explosive degree over trivial matters. In the later chapters, these hardened cri...more
Isaac Casino
This book is a very good book it has a lot of action and excitement. It is about a teenage boy who grow up in Brooklyn and has to deal with gangs and drugs and weapons and girls. He joins a gang called "Mau Mau" then it becomes very big and he becomes a leader. Later on in the years he becomes a christian and try's to tell all his friends and former gang members he marries a beautiful puerto rican girl and they live as Christians to gather. Nicky Cruz himself is also puerto rican.
When you take into account that this is a true story, it's hard to say anything bad about it. I mean, the writing style was excellent, kept you engaged, and that's nice for a biographical book. I remember seeing the movie "The Cross & The Switchblade" when I was young and adoring it because I liked the gangs and the anarchist-attitudes they had. But reading the book goes so much deeper into the life of Nicky Cruz AND into his life after he came to the Lord. It is a beautiful story and one of...more
Sep 23, 2010 murza added it
I learned do not judge the others..this book gave me power to,s really worthy to fight even if u lose sometimes one day u will be a big winner...
what was different as this was so fascinating that i read it in bus , when i walked..i was captived by this book..i really recomand it...
Apr 26, 2012 Ray added it
Must read! Get the book, “Run, Baby, Run“.

And coming soon see the movie, “Thousand Pieces – The Nicky Cruz Story“

Nicky’s conversion was depicted in the 1970 film The Cross and the Switchblade starring Erik Estrada as Cruz and Pat Boone as David Wilkerson.
Run Baby Run captivated me! I love true stories and found this at my local library.

It's the life story of Nicky Cruz, an out of control, demonized young man who moved from Puerto Rico to New York at the age of 15 after being raised (not very well) by ungodly parents who were spiritualists and practiced witchcraft to make a living.

My heart ached as I read what Nicky endured and was exposed to as a child - anyone who reads his story will realize that only the power of God can restore, transform...more
Justin Rose
Cruz may have some good and inspiring stories to tell, but he adds too much circumstance under the auspices of divine intervention. I think in Latin American this kind of story telling is accepted, but in English speaking America, this comes across as patronizing. Mike Warnke's /The Satan Seller/ is in this same genre, but it takes knowledge outside the text to see the inconsistencies.

Another thing that would have made this book better is if Cruz concentrated on a few stories in detail, rather t...more

Run Baby Run is a book about a Peurto Rican boy who leaves his abusive parents to travel to New York city to find his brother. After a falling out with his brother, Nicky is kicked to the streets to battle for his survival, he gets involved with a street gang, the Mau Mau's and commits many crimes and falls into a life he could never imagine, consisting of drugs, alcohol, and gang violence. Later in the book, Nicky has a running in with a street pastor. Despite Nicky's threats to kill him, the p...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nicky Cruz was born in Puerto Rico, moved to New York City at age 15, and became president of the Mau-Mau’s gang in New York in the 1950’s. Eventually he came to know Jesus and his life was changed. This is his memoir.

The first 100 pages of this book share a very detailed and tragic story. It’s heavy and heart-breaking, and I almost gave up.

If you persevere through the first 100 pages, you will find a fascinating account of God's grace reaching to the darkest places.
An incredible testimony!! Fast paced, poignant & thrilling. There were places were I felt myself audibly gasping and pulling the book closer to my closer to my nose! Despite the gang being portrayed as out of control and bloody thirsty, somehow they were still sympathetic and you find yourself so invested in Nicky's future as if he is a close friend of yours.

All in all, definitely worth a read!!
May 23, 2008 Crystal rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone interested in changed lives. gang life in the 60s, Christians wanting to see what God can do
Recommended to Crystal by: my mother
Shelves: christian
This was one of my favorite books when I was a teenager, and is still one I hold dear. It is the autobiography of Nicky Cruz, a character in the Cross and the Switchblade, by David Wilkerson. Nicky was a haunted and angry young man, sent away by his family in Puerto Ricko to the slums of New York City in the 60s. This is the story of his life with the gangs, from his start to his rise to the top, and his dramatic meeting with God through the unlikely skinny little preacher from Pennsylvania. Thi...more
This the story of a rehabilitated drug addict and ex gang banger. I have nothing in common with Nicky, not in the way he thinks or acts but somehow his story moved me. I can understand his feelings of loneliness and how it lead to his violent behavior. He was neglected and abused by his parents, sent away to another country to a brother who was to busy to look out for him. The only way he would be able to survive the rough streets of new york was by joining a brutal gang. They were the first peo...more
Luke Markham
Nov 20, 2013 Luke Markham rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any Christian; someone interested in a Christian response to gang crime.
Brief Summary:(view spoiler)
The plot is exciting, gripping, and fraught with action. It is written in a frank and honest manner, not pious or self-serving. This was the second time of reading and I shall do so again. It has caused me to re-examine my own life and priorities, and to remember that there are many real and hurting people living in the most desperate...more
Briona Rivera
Awesome story! Such a detailed story about a child raised in the gang lifestyle. All the messed yp things he had to endure and the strength he had to get his life together and help others that were once in his shoes. The fact that he over came everything he has been through is amazing and i have the utmost respect for him. Knowing so many people in my own life that has never became nothing more then what they were it is nice to read that it is possible people can overcome anything when they trul...more
Tim Roast
This book is the autobiographical account of Nicky Cruz. Originally hailing from Puerto Rico he was sent to New York as a teenager. There he had no-one so he turned to the gangs. It wasn't long until he was elevated to gang leader thanks to his fearless ways. But later came a man with three words for him that did scare him:

`Jesus loves you!' Three small words that change Nicky Cruz's life for ever!

However the change was not easy, there were struggles along the way and friends were lost as Nicky...more
Yvonne Stiles
The story of Nicky Cruz's incredible transformation from a notorious gang leader in New York City to a preacher and evangelist was very instrumental in my own salvation. His transformation has encouraged me for years!
First read this as a teen and have read several times Cruz's elevation from his life as a gangster and his journey of faith is although we have little in common inspiring and remarkable.
A friend of mine raved about Run Baby Run so I was quick to pick it up and give it a read. I just didn't have the mind-blowing experience with the story as my friend. This could be, perhaps, because I've worked in the inner city ghetto and found the experiences Cruz depicts a little "silly". But to be honest, he's describing the ghetto of the 50s and 60s and I know it today.

I actually found the most gripping part of the story to be the second half, when he speaks of his conversion. I thought it...more
Teenage gangs; brotherhood of the uneducated. When the world that surrounds you is nothing but dirt poor poverty and fear mixed with addiction the only way forward is either death or religion. Nicky chose the latter.

Parts bothered me, particularly this one:
Nicky, there's something I've got to tell you. I'm ashamed to bring it up now when I should have done it a long time ago. I've been a Christian for two years now."

I mean really? I'm a believer of God, following the path of jesus, but I'll just...more
Chaston Pfingston
This is one of those books you want to keep reading until it's over, and then wish it had never ended!
This was a very interesting look at the life of gang leader turned minister Nicky Cruz.

The book is somewhat of a follow-up to 'The Cross and the Switchblade' about David Wilkerson's ministry to the gangs of inner city New York in the 1950's and 60's. Run Baby Run chronicles Nicky Cruz' life from a childhood of rejection and demonic spiritualism, to the violent and promiscuous gang life in his teens, and finally to his meeting of evangelist Wilkerson, leading him to salvation.

This book is sometim...more
Josh Brase
I think this book is an ok book. It is really exciting during the beginning. Nicky Cruz is always in trouble and running away form his problems. He joins a gang and became there president. Then a preacher came and talked to the gang and changed Nicky's life. He quit the gang and went off to school. The quote I picked was "Run baby run". I chose it because before the preacher changed his life he was always scared and running away from everything even though he was a feared gang leader. After he t...more
Bryant Medlin
This book is about a troubled teen growing up in hard environments. He is faced with challenges which leave him no choice but to join a street gang to stay alive. He quickly feels at home with his new discovered friends and takes a liking to the power and respect he gets from others. You will be interested in this book if you like adventure stories or gang stories. I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars. He is saved by god and stops the gang life altogother. It shows troubled teens there is a way out...more
Claudia Clinton-frödin
Very inspiring! This book stresses the power of God's love. I think most everyone finds themselves, at some point in their lives, "searching" for something greater than what they live and see day to day. Making the decision to follow Christ is a choice that each individual must make for themselves. This story was a wonderful testimony of how one of the most hardened and evil gang leaders of New York finds Christ and uses his gifts to lead others to find Christ and leave behind a life of gangs, d...more
Feb 06, 2014 Annie added it
Amazing, inspiring book
Liz Gibbs
Nicky Cruz had a rough childhood and was alone on the streets at a very young age. His family became the MauMaus, a highly feared gang in Brooklyn. Several years later, a skinny preacher, David Wilkerson, started preaching nearby. Nicky hated him at first, but found out how life can change. This book is amazing. This is the third time I've read it since I was a kid, I believe. It was just as good this time and the movie "The Cross and the Switchblade", told from David Wilkerson's perspective, is...more
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A life changing book 1 6 Jun 10, 2014 11:23AM  
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Nicky was only 3½ years old when his heart turned to stone. As one of 18 children born to witchcraft-practicing parents from Puerto Rico, bloodshed and mayhem were common occurrences in his life. He suffered severe physical and mental abuse at their hands, at one time being declared the "Son of Satan" by his mother while she was in a spiritual trance.

When he was 15, Nicky's father sent him to visi...more
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