I started reading sci-fi at age 9.
One day in 4th grade the nun came in with this stack of pamphlets and handed them out. My guess is that a salesmen from some book seller dropped them off at the school and talked the nuns into handing them out. I distinctly recall the nun saying if we wanted to order books that was fine but if we didn't that was fine too. There was NO ENCOURAGEMENT to do it.
I think there were 4 sheets with little pictures of book covers on each side and a few sentences saying what the book was about under each picture. I went through and read every one. That is when I found Star Surgeon by Alan E. Nourse. Space ships and aliens had to be weird. So I ordered it and was hooked after that. I can't recall what books I ordered right after that one but I eventually stumbled across Clarke, Asimov, Heinlein and etc. etc.
I guess after Star Wars and Star Trek and Stargate this, that and the other aliens ain't no big deal anymore. What could be interesting about sci-fi literature besides some REAL SCIENCE? That made SF interesting too since the nuns NEVER TAUGHT SCIENCE.
But with books costing $8 apiece what are grade school kids going to buy now?