Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (movie)

How 'Harry Potter' changed their lives

How 'Harry Potter' changed their lives

Thirteen-year-old Alexander Williams was always so reluctant to read that his school arranged to get him special help. But he felt differently about the stories when they were told on a big screen.

Most people who love the films begin with the books. But for Alex, the process worked the other way around. When he was finally forced to page through J.K. Rowling's novels to fulfill a class assignment, the characters in the novels took on added life in his imagination.

"Alex was completely enthralled, to where he would not put the book down," said his mother, Erin Riley of Belcamp.

"He was reading during mealtimes, on the way to school, and even during...