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826 Boston and the Big Book of IFs (with photos!)

May 24, 2024

Photo by Gio.click

Paramount Pictures’ latest film, IF, is bringing the joy and love of imagination to life… and they’ve invited students from across the 826 Network to join in!

If you haven’t heard, IF (which stands for Imaginary Friends) was released on May 17, and features a star-studded cast, including John Krasinski, Ryan Reynolds, Cailey Fleming, Louis Gossett Jr., Jon Stewart, Awkwafina, Maya Rudolph, and Steve Carell! The movie is about a girl who discovers that she can see everyone’s imaginary friends—and what she does with that superpower—as she embarks on a magical adventure to reconnect forgotten IFs with their kids.

The 826 Network collaborated with Paramount Pictures to bring the Big Book of IFs—stories inspired by the movie and written by 826 authors from around the country—to readers young and old.
To kick off the project, team members at 826 chapters across the country (including 826 Boston) asked the question, “What would students joining us in classrooms and 826 writing centers imagine into a book about imaginary friends? What would they come up with?”

The result was hundreds of students from across the 826 Network bringing to life a diverse array of imaginary friends, each with its own quirks and charms. From a pocket-sized creature that transforms into a rainbow, to a pigeon that loves napping, these stories highlight what children value most in friendship.

John Krasinski, writer and director of the movie, said in a press release, “826 is a beacon of creativity and exploration like no other. To be asked to be a part of anything to do with this organization is an absolute joy. But to then have 826 invite us to do a full-blown collaboration with them, and to have these brilliant students create such mind-blowing work based on my new film IF? …well, that is nothing short of an honor!”

The fun didn’t end there!

Last month, Blue—the very-imaginary-yet-very-real character from the movie—dropped by 826 Boston’s After-School Writing and Tutoring Program to give out hugs and high fives to students. Students throughout all of our programs were invited to see a special screening of the movie on May 11, before it hit the big screen worldwide!

We’re so grateful to our friends at 826 National and Paramount Pictures for celebrating the power of imagination and the joy of storytelling with us! Don’t forget to get your copy of the book and immerse yourself in the magical worlds conjured by young authors from across the country!

Purchase your copy of The Big Book of IFs
Read more about the partnership

Photos by Leise Jones Photography and 826 Boston team members

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