I used to own that novel and it was one of the few novels I read more than once when I was a kid. I lost that book and I really wish I had a copy now. It's a good book about a kid who tries to survive on the streets of NYC back in the 50s, and eventually has his life turned around.
Run, baby, runí is written by Nicky Cruz and Jamie Buckingham. This book is a thrilling story of Nicky Cruz. It is a great
uplifting true story of Nicky Cruises life. It is a story about a desperate battle against drugs, alcoholism, and a violent environment. While battling against these odds Nicky Cruz searched for a better way of life on the streets of New York City.
In this book, Nicky Cruz tells the story of how he was born into a large family in Puerto Rico. It was a voodoo practicing family who made their money putting curses on people in Pureto Rico. His father and mother were heavily into the occult and spiritualism. Because of such a family background Nicky Cruz became a violent, out-of-control young boy. Nicky was a difficult child so he was sent to the United States when he was a young teenager to live with one of his older brothers. Nicky had no respect for authority or any knowledge of the English language. He drops out of school within weeks of arriving in New York. After a short while and plenty of disagreements Nicky is driven out of his brother's house as well. Nicky becomes desperate with no food or a place to live, and he nervously commits his first robbery to survive. On the streets with no friends or family to turn too, he ends up living in a run down area of New York where he meets up with the Mau Maus, one of the most feared gangs of the day. Nicky eventually joins the gang, who become his 'family'.
Nicky then goes on to relate how he was initiated into the gang and rose through the ranks, eventually becoming the gang's leader. He details the life he lead well, but never glorifies the violence or crimes that he was involved in. Nicky spent several years in the gang, being its President during the gangs' most violent and often recorded period of criminal activity in the mid to late 1950's.
The story would have been a sad story if it ended there. But the climax was yet to come. In 1958, a Pennsylvania preacher named David Wilkerson meets with the Mau Mau's and is nearly killed by Nicky, who decides to attend one of Wilkersons' arena meetings so that the gang can rob the offering. Riled and feeling threatened by David's consistant assurance that ' Jesus loves you, Nicky', he vows to kill the preacher if he meets him again. But Instead, Wilkerson moves Cruz to attempt to abandon his violent, drug and sex filled gang existence and change his life into something positive. He always spoke to him about Jesus. After a few years Nicky became a Christian and then went to a bible college.
This book is an amazing and very powerful testimony told by someone who was written off by everybody except a skinny preacher and God. The story has pace with plenty of detail which never seems boring or unnecessary and a clear beginning, middle and end. The characters are sympathetically drawn. The book provides hope for anyone looking to turn their life around and speaks volumes about just how much we are loved by God.
Has anyone else read that novel? I think there was a movie based on Nicky Cruz (protagonist).
[Edit] There is a new movie in production about the book! I can't wait for the trailer! Link