When my son was in junior high school, he was falling behind mainly because he was not a reader.
He didn't exactly struggle with the act of reading. He just couldn't get interested in what he was given to read.
So, we bought him comic books and graphic works. At least we figured he could conjure out some basic things, like what constituted a plot and what carried the action in a story and what went into making a character sound real.
He did make it through high school and got a college degree, but he still never reads much. He's a great story-teller, though.
David Cutler in a blog at Eductopia suggests that getting kids like my son to read is still a challenge, and he suggests teachers of English and history turn to comic books that are available to help their students learn to like story-telling and the narrative aspects of history.
Specifically, he recommends "Kingdom Come" by Mark Waid and Alex Ross for English teachers and "Uncanny X-Men" and "Tales of Suspece #39) for history teachers.
My take on this is: Well, it sure can't hurt to try.