Science fiction writer Jack McDevitt, in his most recent blog post, waxed poetically about newspaper comic strips and comic books of his youth.
How do we learn to read? The reality is that, at least for fiction, we need something we care about.
It certainly echoes my experience with reading and comics at an early age. When I was in grade school, I knew Fe was the chemical symbol for iron because of the Legion of Super Heroes and Ferro Lad. I knew what “invulnerable” meant because of Superman. I devoured my father’s silver age comic book collection and became a proficient reader at a much earlier age.
You want to get a young person to read? Give them an age appropriate comic with a character they already know from other mediums. Watch them tear through the book and want more.