Self-Deprecating Sunday (13) Guest Post

In which the YA author shares what’s Great and Awkward about the teenage years.
Today we have my first guest post with Josh Berk. This week we’ve been celebrating the upcoming launch of  his YA novel, The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin. It releases this Tuesday from Knopf books for young readers. And I’m 100% excited to read it. Probably you’ve figured that out. So let’s conclude this Berkparty with a little self-deprecation.
From Berk:
I give you “Berk as a member of the East Hills Middle School Marching Band.”
About the picture: I was only in band for one year — 6th grade. I was never really good at the saxophone and being part of a marching band did not appeal to my desire to always be the center of attention. So I quit probably soon after this picture was taken. I do remember enjoying that saucy hat. And the gloves! This would have been 1987. I was eleven years old. I also remember that my reed broke right before the parade started and I had lost my spare reeds so I didn’t even play the instrument. I just marched while pretending to play the sax. Probably I wasn’t even really good at marching in time. And certainly the hat wasn’t as cool as I thought it was.
A million thanks to Berk! This is possibly my favorite post yet. If you’re a YA Author and would like to do a guest post on Self-Deprecating Sunday, please contact me jody.mugele(at) It’s more fun than Church.

Published by jody sparks

Jody Sparks Mugele spent her first career in marketing writing and leading teams of writers and editors. After her son came out as transgender in 2015, she dedicated herself to advocating for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. For two years, she led the Indianapolis regional chapter of PFLAG, a nationally renowned LGBTQ+ advocacy group. She has given many conference talks about parenting trans kids, healthcare in the trans community, and suicidality among LGBTQ+ youth. And with GenderNexus, an Indianapolis-based advocacy organization, she created programming and led support groups to work with parents to help their children through all aspects of gender transition. She recently moved to Northeast Georgia where she is excited to develop opportunities to continue to strongly and proudly advocate for LGBTQ+ members of our society. She also LOVES kitschy Christmas crafting!

22 thoughts on “Self-Deprecating Sunday (13) Guest Post

  1. I’m not sure if it’s the outfit, or the fact he’s clearly so happy wearing it, that is making me grin so wide!

    In any case, Josh, wishing you one of the most memorable weeks of your life, anot to mention really, really LOW numbers on Amazon and (‘cuz I know you’re gonna be watching)…

  2. Josh, that is indeed one saucy hat. The photo is adorable, as is the fact that you pretended to play your sax during a parade. HAHAHAHAHA… awesome! I will note, however, that you’ve posted on yourself at age 11, at which time one is still young and cute enough not to be truly awkward. (I have personally attempted to destroy all photographic evidence of myself at age 13, for instance. Perhaps you did the same.)

  3. Awesome! I was a “faker” in my award-winning HS marching band. They needed bodies to fill out the ranks and make the pretty patterns so I didn’t play, just pretended to while marching around. I even “faked” in the Rose Parade. I faked both clarinet and tenor sax depending on where they needed me. Ah…good times, although I think your uniform was just a bit snazzier than mine.

  4. Wow, this made me grin. But I’ve got to agree with Tammara… you’re young enough there to be nerdy-cute instead of nerdy-pathetic. We demand more embarrassing pictures of Berk!

  5. I forgot to mention I played the saxophone too. I didn’t fake it, but I probably should have.

    Also, I heard somewhere there was a photo of Berk that involved wearing spandex. It mysteriously couldn’t be found for the post…perhaps someday it will turn up.

    Thanks for all the comments, guys! I’m digging it very much.


    I totally want to be on this, by the way. But I need to find something.
    Lucky Berk has a SLEW of hideous pictures from the past.
    Kidding! I mean, awesome. Awesome pictures of the past.

  7. way better than my band uniform! and i think the hat is even cooler than you thought it was. thank you for this!

  8. Congrats Josh on your debut book. What a great title. I’m looking forward to reading it. Perhaps sometime you can post advice on what went well with marketing the book.

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