Walk into the young adult section of any library, and you'll find shelves full of novels about kids fighting off the forces of evil. Mountain trolls, white witches, and dystopian regimes, all defeated by the power of teenage virtue and ingenuity.
But for all the heroism contained on their pages, there's still a story left untold: that of the books themselves.
The idea behind the Call Me Ishmael project is simple. Participants leave a voicemail about a book they love, and the impact its had on their own life.
One of the latest, "The Scar," is from a young man who discovered the Harry Potter series while growing up with a mother "hopelessly addicted to crack."
"Like Harry, I knew what it was like to hide in the cupboard and to be abused by people charged with caring for you," the man, identified only as Nathan, says in his voicemail. His voices cracks as he continues, "So I allowed myself the belief those years that if Harry could be rescued, so could I."
One scarred boy helping to heal another. Nathan's story is incredible, but not uncommon. Authors and their protagonists don't just save the day in fictional melees: books save lives.
Listen to Nathan's full, heartfelt voicemail above.