JulieD of Happy Catholic (who managed to read a good 10x as many books as I do each year) has links to some of the better discussion on the topic. (more here) Julie remarks:
Now that the movie is coming out, we are seeing the usual email chains from concerned Christians saying things like, "I'm going to tell everyone about this movie. I hope it totally bombs because we were all paying attention!"Amen to that one.
First of all, I don't think that works. Secondly, it draws more attention to the movie than if everyone had just not said anything. Third, of course, it just adds to that mythos of closed-minded, stupid Christians as the norm.
I've never quite "got" the movie/book boycott thing. If you think a movie is going to be lousy, you generally won't go see it. If you think you won't like a book, you don't buy it. If you feel strongly about it, you might then go and tell your friends why you don't want to see the movie/buy the book. If you're got persuasive reasons, they may well do the same, and after a while bad buzz begins to build. "Yeah, I dunno. A couple different people all said that movie sounded dumb." That sort of collective judgement can really slow down sales.
A "boycott" on the other hand is designed to generate a very different sort of news. "Group X seems really worked up about that movie, like it's some big threat. I wonder what it's like." "Maybe we should go watch that movie so we can 'understand both sides'." There's just no upside that I can see. If you think a movie is lousy (and if you can articulate a slightly more comprehensive reason than "It's anti-Christian" -- a complaint general enough it makes people curious) then tell people so. But creating a media event out of your outrage is generally only going to help the other side. (Imagine if people from the pro-Iraq side of the political spectrum had attempted a boycott campaign against Lions For Lambs rather than just passing on the word: "It sounds like an overly talky piece of political propaganda." People might have watched it...)
I think that we Christians would do ourselves some favors if could stick to categorizing and dismissing things rather than working up a publicity-hogging fuss about them.
In a wider sense, I'm not entirely sure what to think about all the fuss. I haven't read His Dark Materials, and what I've heard about it doesn't make me particularly interested to do so. And yet, some of the "how will we protect children from this" talk strikes me as a bit overblown.
By age 11-12 or so when I started reading fiction voraciously, I quickly went through most of the books suitable to my age which we had around the house (which means several hundred) and started rooting around the public library stacks for science fiction and fantasy. By 13 I'd exhausted everything that looked interesting in the YA section and moved on to the adult SF/F section.
Since my parents had been (and were still to the extent that time allowed) big genre readers, they at least knew of a lot of what I was reading, and they provided some guidelines. "Nothing by Marion Zimmer Bradley" was one rule, and after sampling a few pages of Mists of Avalon I had no urge to violate it. "No Heinlein written after (and including) Stranger In A Strange Land" was another. Another was, "If there's graphic sex, stop reading." Odd as it may sound to the more suspicious parent, this was followed pretty consistently as well.
Now, the science fiction and fantasy genres are not, generally, very friendly to Christianity. There's an awful lot of SF that takes the "religion is just superstition" angle, and much fantasy is heavy into neo-pagan/new age ideas. "Soft SF" often manages to combine the worst of both: holding that organized religion is all superstition while engaging in airy thoughts on the "spirits" of planets and the "universe coming to know itself" and such.
Honestly, though, a strong family Catholic culture left me pretty-well teflon coated to this kind of stuff. I discussed various things that came up in books with my parents, but they didn't necessarily have to make an effort to "read this book with your child and discuss what it means in a Christian context".
We spent a fair amount of time around the house talking about what everything meant in a Christian context, and so worrying about what one particular YA novel meant didn't exactly come on the radar. I had my own increasingly clear ideas on how the world worked and what life was about, and rather than making sudden about-faces whenever I ran into a book with a new point of view, I tended to judge books by how "true" they rang when compared to my own mostly-formed worldview.
So when it comes to "protecting" children from "dangerous books", I don't think the main job of a Christian parent is to scrupulously search for hidden anti-Christian messages in every book your child wants to get out from the library. (If your child is up to snuff, you won't have time.) What's more important is to make sure your child has, by the time he or she is ready to start reading widely, a coherent and distinctly Christian worldview.