Summer reading is not mandatory, it is highly suggested.
Reading during the summer is a great way to help prevent the "summer slide" while at home. Reading for just 20 minutes per day can do wonders for building vocabulary, developing critical thinking skills, and building a sense of empathy for other people. It's also a great way to keep busy and entertained over the long, hot days of summer!
If you need some book suggestions, here are some lists:
American Library Association Summer Reading 2022 for Grades 3-5 and 6-8
This list has all the winners for the awards like the Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King award.
The Lawrence Library here in town also has some great programs and resources for the summer. You can even get a free library card online! Check out their kids page for some free resources from Scholastic.