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Run Baby Run

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  14,290 ratings  ·  241 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. ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published December 1st 1988 by Bridge-Logos (first published 1969)
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Average rating 4.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  14,290 ratings  ·  241 reviews

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Natalie Vellacott
Sep 05, 2014 rated it did not like it
I hate to do this to another classic, but I have to be honest. This was an extremely popular book in Christian circles when I was in my teens (the 1990's.) I read it several times back then and as a relatively new believer probably would have rated it highly. I wondered if my perspective had changed so got hold of a free copy and re-read it now, well some of it.

There is no doubt that the story itself is an incredible working of God's power in the life of gangster Nicky Cruz through His servant D
V.S. Carnes
Feb 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read this one several times. Each time, it only seems more powerful. ...more
Feb 02, 2009 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
Apr 26, 2012 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.
B. Reese
Jun 02, 2015 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
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
One of the best books I have ever read. Even after several re-reads this book still leaves me speechless.

This is the story of Nicky Cruz, a misunderstood teenager from Puerto Rico who finds himself the leader of one of the most notorious gangs of New York, the Mau-Maus. Struggling with the lifestyle of a warlord, fighting gangs, killing, stealing, drugs, sex and much more. He stumbles upon a preacher, David Wilkerson. Soon Nicky's eyes are open and his life goes down a different path.

This power
Sep 14, 2014 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. ...more
Poppy Brown
Aug 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can’t remember the last time I have properly been gripped by a book. This is a BANGER. Highly recommend!
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Christians, Young Adult Christians,
Shelves: christian
Run Baby Run is one of the best books I've read written by a Christian, and without a doubt, one of the best books I have yet to read.

It's a powerful testimony of a man whose hardened heart could only be broken through by relentless love. The main character, Nicky Cruz, started life out bitter and angry, having been born into a family who practiced witchcraft. He hit the streets of New York City at fifteen, thieving, drinking, attacking, and it wasn't three years later when his life changed in
Jun 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. What makes this book hard to read is the violence and language. The book tells a testimony of a reputable gang leader of one of NYC’s most violent gang members in the 50’s. He is explicit in his telling of crimes and his use of foul language and racial slurs. He admits that he was full of fear, hate, and sin. You could argue the point in how he could use that language and use such violent detail as a redeemed person. I don’t think he was trying to glorify his sin, but paint the picture for ...more
Sami Lutui
According to my mother, this was one of my grandfathers favourite books. Hence why I thought it a good one to read.

Nicky Cruiz’s life is a compelling story about a journey away from loneliness, hatred and violence, and toward faith and fulfilment. The first half of this book glimpses the dark reality of life without love (cliche, I know. But this is quite literal). It will have you empathising with malicious behaviour as you recognise the challenged upbringing some children and teenagers endure
Justin Rose
Dec 08, 2013 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
Emilian Mateut
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A history about God's love, and how it can totally change anyone's life, if they accept.

I'd summarize it with this episode:

The policemen couldn't believe their eyes.  By this time 4 other cops had come in and they stood there in unbelief while the stack of pistols, zip guns, and homemade rifles grew higher.  When we finished, the lieutenant just shook his head.  Turning to Israel he said:

"Alright. Now suppose you tell me what's really going on. "

Israel again related what had taken place at St. 
Jul 03, 2015 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
Jun 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction-bio
RUN BABY RUN • by Nicky Cruz, with Jamie Buckingham.

Nicky Cruz was born & raised in Puerto Rico, living in one of the worst neighborhoods. At age 15 his parents sent him to New York to live with his big brother, but the trouble prone Cruz soon ran away. Living on the streets of New York City he encountered street gangs. Being especially violent, determined & smart he rose in rank quickly within the gang.

Nicky was a street fighter, a criminal and became the feared leader of the most violent New Y
Jul 10, 2007 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
Tim Roast
Mar 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Meagan Rose Cortez
Run Baby Run is a very honest, riveting autobiography about a man with a lot of hurt, anger and pain turning away from his former life as a gang member and drug user to follow Christ. He is very honest and humble as he tells his story from the beginning as a scared, angry boy living in Puerto Rico with his parents who were famous in their community for using witchcraft, to his teenage years living in New York with his brother, becoming a gang member and so on. He leaves nothing out or hides anyt ...more
Kelly Gordon
Dec 19, 2011 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
Gary B
Nov 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2012
Run Baby Run is an excellent book. It's a captivating story, easy to read about how God worked through Nicky in the 1950's and 60's. I read the book to my family over a period of a few months reading a chapter or two a week as time allowed. Not all family members enjoyed the story - and certainly there are some very ugly parts to the storyline, but it's an encouraging story of how God worked through Nicky. ...more
Isaac Casino
Feb 23, 2012 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. ...more
Sep 23, 2010 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...
Marja Verschoor-Meijers
After reading the Cross and the switchblade I had to read this one. What an incredible story of redemption! If God can change a man like Nicky Cruz, He can change anyone, there is no doubt in my mind. Although this book was very graphic and detailed about all the crimes the gang members committed, it was a good read. it made Nicky's salvation all the more a miracle! ...more
Brandon Duncan
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A powerful story of REDEMPTION and HOPE that has impacted many for His glory. This book and NICKY's testimony has motivated and inspired many to boldly step out in service and ministry- I invite every BELIEVER to read this..
David Wilkerson was an anointed man of God who shared the GOSPEL with Nicky and now Nicky has been serving and sharing with the masses for years..
Praise JESUS
Michael Otto
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In this book by Nicky Cruz it is like a possible sequel to The Cross and the Switchblade as well as a behind the scenes look what was happening in Nicky's life on the streets surviving. Until one day he meets a man named David Wikerson. What happens next is what this book is about. Find out by reading it. ...more
Natasha Vaitl
Nov 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
this book inspires you. it makes you want to live up to your full potential. very uplifting
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I received this book from my grandmother years ago. Quit possibly a few years after my Papa passed. I wanted it because it was old and falling apart, and the cover looked intriguing. I was into collecting books then. I've had it for at least 14 or 15yrs. I had never read it, but kept it for sentimental reasons. Due to some life changes it became part of my need to read and then discard pile. I no longer collect books, just keeping those that bring joy. Again, I picked up the book from my mountai ...more
Feb 29, 2020 rated it did not like it
I can appreciate the weight of the story of this novel, but as a woman reading it in 2020, it’s painful to read sections where the woman is palmed off as a prop to the mans incessant ego.
This reminds me so much of the novel Shantaram, in how the hero wins in all scrapes, always has the world looking out for him, and even in his blackest hour is the hero! It just doesn’t smack of reality.
It’s a story where you want to support Nicky, and you clap loudly for him when he achieves a change, but the
A surprising confluence: I'm going through Christian Wiman's "Ambition and Survival" with the intention of reading all or most of the poets and poems he discusses. That is why I reread "Paradise Lost" earlier this year. In a memoir section Wiman mentions that as a kid "Run Baby Run" was one of his favorite books for a while, and for a short time in my late teens, it was certainly one of mine. Not only that, but it was reissued this April, so I read this one in short order this week.

Turns out I
Wayward Daughter
May 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’ve read this book so many times I don’t think I could ever forget it. From humble beginnings as a poor kid growing up in Puerto Rico, to a lonely teen living on New York City streets, to a redeemed man of faith looking to provide the same hope that was offered to him, Nicky Cruz truly transformed his life and made something beautiful from ashes.

Some of the moments are very hard to read, gruesome and violent and difficult to wrap your head around, but so necessary in order to grow that hope th
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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

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