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Run Baby Run

4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  10,045 Ratings  ·  163 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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Feb 02, 2009 Ilze rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
V.S. Carnes
Feb 15, 2011 V.S. Carnes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read this one several times. Each time, it only seems more powerful.
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.
Justin Rose
Dec 08, 2013 Justin Rose rated it it was ok
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
Kelly Gordon
Dec 19, 2011 Kelly Gordon rated it it was amazing
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
Marcos S
Jan 28, 2015 Marcos S rated it really liked it

Wrongly accused of being possessed by the devil himself. Always being punished and condemned to a bird cage every time he did something wrong. What kind of man do you think he grew up to be? The story Run Baby Run, a spiritual and dramatic true life story about a young gang member Nicky Cruz. Cruz was a young Puerto Rican boy who has immigrated to Brooklyn New York to live with his brother. With lack of knowledge or respect for the law and a hate for the English language. Everything
Isaac Casino
Feb 23, 2012 Isaac Casino rated it it was amazing
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.
Jul 03, 2015 Benjami rated it it was amazing
Run baby run, a brilliant thrilling book of the true story of Nicky Cruz. Nicky cruz writes of his life from poor and isolated in his satanic childhood home in Puerto rico, to notorious gangster in New york then finally turning to God, giving up his life to the One and Only God, the Lord Jesus Christ.
I being a Christian all my life have always loved Jesus with all my heart. But upon reading this book it strengthened my faith and belief in Jesus immensely. This amazing story tells of how powerfu
Sheri Struk
Mar 27, 2015 Sheri Struk rated it liked it
The story of Nicky Cruz's early life and then his conversion is amazing. After leaving Puerto Rico, where he grew up, he moved to the United States and became heavily involved in the gang life and all that encompasses gangs (i.e. drug use, violence, etc.). Cruz became president of his gang and was feared by all around him. He eventually attends a Christian youth meeting where He learns about Christ and meets David Wilkerson. After some resistance to the Gospel, Cruz makes the decision to commit ...more
Apr 19, 2014 Anna rated it really liked it
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...
Sep 14, 2014 Jenn rated it it was amazing
Wow. This book is just amazing. Nicky Cruz's story is so inspiring and makes you want to reach out to everyone you meet. 'The cross and switchblade' by David Wilkerson gives another insight to this story and I will never tire of hearing God's amazing work in this man's life.
Susan Seifert
The book was great. I would recommend reading The Cross And The Switchblade first. It helps provide the context for this book. This true story shows the power of God to save anyone. No one is too hard for God to save or reach. God also continues to work in our hearts after conversion and He uses us even though we are flawed. Sanctification is a lifelong process and we can come down hard on ourselves because we do not become perfect (in the sense of being flawless) at conversion. God doesn't stop ...more
B. Reese
Aug 06, 2015 B. Reese rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book and read it twice. I would read it again. It is very well written and it's a page turner. For anyone who likes Cross and the Switchblade, this is the book for you.

The bulk of the book is about Nicky's experience in the gang called Mau-Maus. Truthfully, the kid was a terror and that's putting it mildly. The stage is set. Nicky was a ruthless violent thug, the police were scared of him and he was pretty much immune to reprisal.

Enter David Wilkerson, skinny preacher. Dav
Apr 26, 2010 Cafelilybookreviews rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 29, 2012 Connorburke rated it it was amazing

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
Feb 27, 2008 Sophia rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Azure Ides-Grey
Though it's debatable whether or not a book in and of itself can change an individual's beliefs, I have doubts as to whether it can be formidably denied that there is at least a correlation between books and changes in belief. This correlation I came across whilst reading Run Baby Run back in 2009. Reading the accounts of Nicky Cruz took hold of my heart, the place where my doubts about God's existence were present. It's an action-packed book with abundant spiritual implications.
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.
Adam Parker
Feb 29, 2016 Adam Parker rated it really liked it
I began reading this book with my cousin who was in the process of breaking his addiction to opiates and I don't think we could have picked a better book. It was full to the brim with raw depictions of suffering associated with life on the street, and avoided sugar coating it. It showed the path of a man least likely to fall in love with Jesus, but who by the grace of God did, and how he changed the world for countless people who had been in his shoes: a story of redemption and hope. I highly re ...more
Halvor (Raknes)
First time I read it was in high school, back in the 70s here in Norway. A Christian group handed out books to everybody. It made a bit of impression, and when I came across it again some thirty years later, and couldn't remember much of it, I decided to read it again. It's a nice read getting into the frame of mind of the evangelical youth movement of the 60s and 70s. It doesn't carry much proselytizing impact today, I should think.
Apr 20, 2014 Jocelyn rated it really liked it
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 it was amazing
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
Jul 20, 2015 Aija rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Luin tämän joskus lukioikäisenä. Kirja oli isän vanha ja todella repaleinen. Sivut irtoilivat kun niitä käänsi. Kirjan alku oli tosi vaikuttava jengihommineen, mutta sävy muuttui puolessa välissä tosi paljon, kun Nicky siirtyi uskonnollisiin porukoihin. Ihankuin samoissa kansissa olisi ollut kaksi kirjaa.
Cynthia Marcano
Nov 24, 2014 Cynthia Marcano rated it it was amazing
Awesome read and beautifully written!!! A must read for all Christian's who feel led to Evangelize or for those who feel they aren't "good" enough to be washed clean by the blood of the lamb.

Nicky Cruz preached at our church a few years ago and reading this after having met him, blows me away.

Apr 13, 2011 Abi_88 rated it liked it
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
Royce Ratterman
Feb 10, 2016 Royce Ratterman rated it it was amazing

Most books are rated related to their usefulness and contributions to my research.
Overall, a good book for the researcher and enthusiast.
Read for personal research
- found this book's contents helpful and inspiring - number rating relates to the book's contribution to my needs.

Luke Markham
Nov 20, 2013 Luke Markham rated it really liked it  ·  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
Briona Rivera
Jan 28, 2014 Briona Rivera rated it it was amazing
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
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Nicky was only 3 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 visit
More about Nicky Cruz...

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