Designed for four- to 11-year-olds, the aim is for children to read six books during the summer holidays and pass on their ideas for what to read next with family and friends.
The challenge was inspired by consultation with children and is intended to encourage children to share their reading choices during the summer and beyond.
The nationwide event is run by the Reading Agency in libraries throughout the country and it is completely free to take part.
The challenge is designed for all reading abilities and most libraries run activities for the linked to the early years for pre-school children.
Children can join the challenge at their local library and pick any kind of book they like - including factual books, joke books, picture books, audio books - as long they are borrowed from the library.
Every time children finish a book they get stickers and rewards and there is a certificate for everyone who completes the challenge.
The Summer Reading Challenge website allows children to log the books they have read, find suggestions for more books to read from other children, enter competitions and play games.
The theme of this year’s challenge is Mythical Maze, with fantastical creatures created by illustrator Sarah McIntyre.
Celebrated children’s authors including Jacqueline Wilson, Eoin Colfer, Cathy Cassidy, Cressida Cowell, Liz Pichon, Rick Riordan, Sarah McIntyre, Anthony Horowitz and Michael Morpurgo are lending their support by recording video messages and recommending their favourite children’s books on social media to encourage children to share their love of reading.
More than 810,000 children took part in last year's Summer Reading Challenge.
Sue Wilkinson, chief executive of the Reading Agency, said, ‘We know from our own research just how much fun families and children get out of taking part in the challenge. This year we think it is going to be more exciting than ever.
‘What we hope is that everyone who takes part this summer really will find out that everything changes when we read.’
A free summer challenge reading app which draws children into the Mythical Maze is also available to download.