It's a bit strange I guess, but I was always allowed to read whatever I wanted. My parents always asked about the stories I read, and I always told them about it; bad, good, or boring. My mother has always told me, even when I was little, that I had a good sence of right and wrong. I could tell what was right, and hated to see the wrong. Reading books helped strenghten my sence of morality and truth.
Christians should realize that reading a children's book that has some magic in it is not the same as making that child consult evil spirits or sin in any way. A Christian child should know magic is evil even at a young age becuase they have the Holy spirit in them. They will see the evil magic, reject it and read the book knowing that they will never ever do anything like that, but seeing and understanding that others do practice evil things, and that is sad. Christian children can understand that.
Knowing evil exists and doing evil are two different things. Choosing to do evil is sin, but it is not a sin to be tempted. Even Jesus was tempted be the Devil and did not sin.
Knowing people are murdered in this world and killing someone yourself are two different things. Knowlage of something and actually doing that something not the same. For example: I can read books about swimming, and know exactly how I should swim, and how to move under water but until I actually try it, i'm not an expert swimmer.
Without knowlage, I might see something bad and, not understanding it's bad, and be curious, and end up accidentily sinning. With the knowlage (the small bits of information gained from books, other people, and experience), I can know what is evil, so that when I come across it in the real world, I can reject it becuase I have already choosen to reject it, I can KNOW its nature without haveing to be curious or looking deeply. Or course, I can choose to accept it, and willing sin.
Reading books in general is a good way to help children (and all people) learn to mentaly choose good over evil as they go through life. It's good practice for life. If a book is completly evil it shouldn't be read, and if one starts reading a book that's bad, then the person should stop reading. becuase after it's proven to be be against God and continues to tempt you or make you want to sin or do anything, then it is bad. To keep reading at that point would be sin. Should you choose to keep reading that book even when it is hurting your soul, then you have choosen to do something wrong. As the person who looks as porography knows it is wrong by what is claimed on the front cover. If they continue to look at it and open it, then that is wrong and they have chosen sin.
Reading books and stopping in bad books is good practice for life. It helps give the person strength and knowlage that it is better to run from evil and to leave it as soon as you come across it.
Reading Harry Potter is in a way, like walking into a store that sells bad magazines, ciggeretts, alchol, and whatever along with the other stuff they sell. You may walk right by the bad stuff and notice them without curiosity, never bothering to look or dig deeper. But if you're already curious about that evil, then you are a lot more likly to go ahead and look at the magazines and drugs, and even possible buy some. That would be very bad.
But just walking by and noticing the stuff and walking on is not bad at all, but good becuase you have seen evil and chosen to reject it.
Like a person already interested in bad magazines or drugs, a child who is already facinated or curious about magic will almost cirtianly be brought farther into the darkness by reading harry potter, in the same way the 'example person' would be brought farther into sin by even just walking past the stuff on sale. But the person who knows it's sin and already has chosen in their heart and mind not to do thoses things won't be doing wrong by simply walking by the magazines, cigeretts and alchol to get to the next row.
This is why i think that christian children should be alowed to read whatever, as long as the parent asks the kids about what they read always, as long as the child is spirit filled.
Children will always choose their sin no matter what they read or see. Christian children can even take good things and make them sin in their minds, they can read the Bible, see the bad example of cain or lot or lot's wife, or solomon and his many wives, and choose to do evil. Even if you took everyhitng secular away freoma child and made them only read good things and see good and hear good, they will still do evil, it's human nature. Children who know evil exists are more likly to reject the evil when they see if becuase they have been warned. For exampke, parents often start telling children it's bad to smoke and do drugs at young ages so that when their friends offer it, they think back and remember, it's bad. Then they can choose, obey God and my parents, or go against them, sin, and try it like my friend says.
Harry Potter is questionable becuase magic is wrong. If the child knows magic is wrong, the reading the book will only emphisize this more and help them learn how to find truth when it's mixed with lies. They might not realize it when they read it, but they WILL be looking for the good, while frowning at the bad, knowing that people are reading this and beleiving it. It might even make them more anxious to tell others about Jesus, becuase they want their harry potter reading friends to know Jesus is God, and magic is wrong.