The Netherlands’ Eurovision Song Contest 2021 entrant Jeangu Macrooy is a jack-of-all-trades. He is a singer, songwriter and painter, but also loves up to dive into a book once in a while.

As a result, Jeangu has been named one of three “reading coaches” that will challenge vocational school students to pick up a novel by Stichting Lezen (The Reading Foundation) — a non-profit that promotes reading and contributes to improving the reading climate and reading culture.

Studies have shown that Dutch secondary school pupils are taking less pleasure in reading. In general, Dutch students are spending less and less time reading novels. On top of that, nearly a fourth of secondary school students have been classified as at risk of becoming partially illiterate. This means they do not possess the basic reading skills needed in order to survive daily life in the Netherlands.

Thankfully Jeangu Macrooy is here to save the day.

How will Jeangu be involved in the challenge?

Alongside rappers Famke Louise and Dio, Jeangu is challenging vocational school pupils to read three books in six months. The challenge lasts between November 2020 and May 2021.

Jeangu and the other reading coaches will be guiding and motivating the students to pick up a book in their challenge. After and during the reading of the books, Jeangu will convey his thoughts in vlogs.

Writing on Instagram, the “Grow” hitmaker said: “Diorno, Famke Louise and I give them tips and share our own reading experiences. Hopefully many young people will discover how inspiring reading can be!”

Each musician is also paired with a school that they will mentor. Jeangu has been teamed up with a vocational school in Delft. In an interview with Tubantia, the Dutch Eurovision hopeful said that he did a question and answer session with the students on his own reading behaviour.

What books will Jeangu Macrooy be reading?

As the other musicians, Jeangu has revealed which books he will be reading. Most books that Jeangu plans to read deal with diversity-related issues and coming-of-age.

The first book that he plans to read is one of the most popular debuts of 2020, Confettiregen by Splinter Chabot. Confettiregen is the diary of Wobie, a teenager struggling with his own LGBTQIA+ identity, despite coming from an open-minded and well-off family.

Next to that, Jeangu will also read Leugenaar leugenaar by Herman van de Wijdeven, a psychological novel with a black girl as the protagonist. Thirdly, Jeangu will read Echte Amerikaanse jongens, which is a Dutch translation of All Americans Boys by Jason Reynolds, a novel dealing with racial issues in the US.

What do you think about about Jeangu Macrooy’s book choices? What are you currently reading? Let us know in the comments below!

Read all our Netherlands news here.

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Sabrina
Sabrina
27 days ago

Everytime I read something about Jeangu, I like him more and more. He sounds like a sweet smart guy and a real gentleman.

Whisker
Whisker
28 days ago

How is it possible to have so many students at risk of becoming “partially illiterate” in a country like the Netherlands?

Jonas
Jonas
28 days ago
Reply to  Whisker

In the link included, it says that young children are taught about emotional development and sustainabilty before they’ve even learned to read, taking up too much time. I’m not sure how true that is.

Whisker
Whisker
28 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

Thanks for sharing that! I hope it’s not true because it makes very little sense.

Jonas
Jonas
28 days ago

The Dutch books I like best are maybe The Evenings by Gerard Reve, The Twin by Gerbrand Bakker, and Letter to the King by Tonke Dragt.

Gerbrand Bakker won big literary prize a few years ago and instead of making the usual speech, he got up and played the 1994 Dutch Eurovision entry by Willeke Alberti instead. That was enough to make me want to read him.

Yanis2Y
Yanis2Y
28 days ago

That’s so lovely. He seems really sweet.