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Bear, Otter, and the Kid (Bear, Otter, and the Kid #1)

4.23 of 5 stars 4.23  ·  rating details  ·  6,004 ratings  ·  852 reviews
Three years ago, Bear McKenna’s mother took off for parts unknown with her new boyfriend, leaving Bear to raise his six-year-old brother Tyson, aka the Kid. Somehow they’ve muddled through, but since he’s totally devoted to the Kid, Bear isn’t actually doing much living—with a few exceptions, he’s retreated from the world, and he’s mostly okay with that. Until Otter comes ...more
Paperback, 1st Edition, 350 pages
Published August 12th 2011 by Dreamspinner Press (first published August 11th 2011)
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Hot Head by Damon SuedeBear, Otter, and the Kid by T.J. KluneThe Locker Room by Amy LaneDivide & Conquer by Abigail RouxBetween Sinners and Saints by Marie Sexton
Best M/M Romance Published in 2011
2nd out of 503 books — 1,012 voters
Cut & Run by Abigail RouxZero at the Bone by Jane SevilleFaith & Fidelity by Tere MichaelsFish & Chips by Abigail RouxPromises by Marie Sexton
The Best of Gay Romance
16th out of 2,438 books — 2,622 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Let me start by saying the author has excellent writing skills, and that the book was well written. However, I can't view it as an original novel, since it is a complete rip-off of the gay themed movie "Shelter" (2007 -

I saw the movie a couple of years ago and this book has the same characters, same story development, same guy-gives-up-scholarship-to-take-care-of-small-child plot. Both the movie and this book even start with the same scene -- he's driving
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
Dear Heather,

It is a very bad idea to start a T.J. Klune book right before going to sleep. What were you thinking!? You will just stay up all night to finish it, like you did last night. Don't do it again.

Your body and brain.

To be honest, I wasn't expecting greatness from "Bear, Otter, and the Kid" even though most of my GR friends adore this one. First of all, I try to not read books with kids in them. I can't deal with tragedy and little kids and, inevitably, tragedy befalls them in bo
WOOO HOOOO!!! I loved this book, I actually did a Happy Dance at the end...I thought of doing the 4.5 stars thingy, but then said SCREW IT! Any debut novel that has me laughing my ass off, and crying my eyes out at the same time, gets FIVE WHOLE STARS.

Well this is Bear, Otter and the Kid's story. Bear McKenna, at seventeen years old and just weeks away from finally going away to college, finds a letter from his mother letting him know she's taken off and left him to take care of his five year ol
Written August 16, 2015

3.7 Stars - Cozy and heart wrenching nice - A lovely story to remember

At last was it time for me to also experience this M/M so many friends adore and love. I listened to the 12:19 hrs audiobook narrated by a very good M/M romance reading voice, Sean Crisden.

I enjoyed and liked but...
Maybe this book works better to read by yourself. It wasn't anything wrong with this audiobook (good narration) but I wasn't totally stunned and amazed. (Too big expectations? Maybe.)
T.A. Webb
"This is the way my world ends."

With this opening sentence, we meet Derrick (Bear, to those who know him), and discover that, one day short of his 18th birthday, three days shy of his high school graduation, and three months away from his leaving to start college, his mother has left. Left him alone and in charge of his five your old brother Tyson (Kid). With the help of his girlfriend Anna, his best friend Creed and Creed's brother Oliver (Otter), Bear picks himself up and gets on with the bus

All roads point to Susan hating this book:

Bad title
Bad cover
Bad 1st person POV
Bad female characters

BUT, funny thing is, sometimes you just can’t predict what you’re gonna like. I actually finished this book with a smile on my face. Much to my surprise, the main characters (Bear, Otter, and The Kid…go figure) were all super likable.

Bear’s fierce loyalty to The Kid, Otter’s fierce loyalty to Bear, and The Kid’s fierceness, period (god, I adore this one!), made it all so charming and sweet. Yes, p
Kelly H. (Maybedog)
I am one of the only people I know who didn't just love this book. (Don't get me started on the creepy kid on the cover. His mouth... ***shiver***)

I had a lot of major problems with this book and only the writing (which was very good) and the sweetness kept me reading until the end.

Things I really liked:

The writing is really good for the most part: the imagery and word choices are excellent.

The book takes place in the Pacific Northwest. It's a fake town called Seafare, closely resembling Seaside
Pity Party?!

Pity Party?!

Table for one?

Under the reservation, Bear McKenna, please?

"Bear, Otter and the Kid" has DRAMA hands down! There's drama for you, your family, your friends, their friends, their friends' friends...Holy Cheesus, it can make it's own universe.


TJ Klune's story is well written, you can argue all the faults you may or may not have but the writing style is superb. (Yes, I'm aware of the "Shelter" movie controversy - *shrug* I see it more as a homage to a great film) You will fee
The is no way I could have loved this more!

This is a M/M romance fan favorite and it was released forever ago, so I'm not going to even try to summarize the story for you. Chances are you've already read and loved it. But if not, just get yourself a copy and read it. Trust me.

I've heard this book compared to the LGBT movie classic Shelter many times, and I have to wholeheartedly agree.

Click image for fullsize photo

The similarities are endless and since Shelter is one of my absolutely favorite
4.5 stars. I loved this epic romance between two young men who are just so meant for each other. It's a huge book, almost like one of those online free fiction reads that go forever, but it's perfectly edited and packaged by Dreamspinner.

Bear's mother walks out on him and his 6 year old brother just before he turns 18. This throws his whole life into chaos and he anticipates his future in ruins. His friends rally round to help although Bear's actions drive away the one person he depends on the m
Meli Mel *Ty and Zane's Creeper*

5 Heart Warming/Breaking Stars

“I’ll never understand why people just won’t let others be who they are. It’s not like it’s affecting them in any way”

This book was so wonderful. I didn't expect it to be this good. I had for a very long time but kept putting it off. I think it was the title and cover... I don't know. But I'm so glad I finally read it.


Bear, a.k.a Derrick, never in a million years thought this would happen to him. Just two day from turing eighteen, his mother ha
Nile Princess
I really, really hate when I'm in such a vast minority with a book that has gotten so many rave reviews. First, there are parts of the book that I did like and that made me smile...laugh out loud even, but it was bogged down with so much unnecessary rambling that I was getting a headache. Once you get past the silly names (Bear, Otter, The Kid...really?), the first third of the book is likeable. Bear is funny, The Kid is witty and all the friends come together as a family to support Bear and Ty ...more
There is no way that this is a debut novel. Somewhere there must be books under another pen name that I have yet to discover. This book is absolutely perfect. And if you knew me, you’d know that is not the opinion that should be coming out of me.

Why? Well, first of all, I hate books written in first person. No particular reason, just my preference. But, this book made me feel like Bear and I were sitting on his back porch and he was telling me his story. Even the flash back scenes, another liter
Sammy Goode
Never before in my life have I been at a place where I was unsure how to to tell you how I feel about a book. Never before have I had a book shake me to the very core of my being...make me laugh, cry, grit my teeth in anger, shake with relief that the end was near. Never before have I not known how to summarize a book--put it into a neat little package so that you, dear reader, could get the gist of the story, hear my thoughts and walk away to decide for yourself whether or not you w ...more
Just got through reading this one. OMG what a ride. From tears of sorrow to tears of joy, back through tears of anguish to tears of laughter. This was a remarkable book by a first time author. From start to finish I was hooked. Kid is a fantastic character, and totally believable. The things he says are awesome lol. Bear and Otter are so damn human its hard to believe they are just fictional characters.

The bath tub scenes were heartbreaking,but Oh the dinner on the beach scene? one of the funnie
Brie C.
ETA: I have changed the final grading to 1, I enjoyed the book immensely but it turns out the plot was “borrowed” from the movie Shelter. Plagiarism is a terrible thing, perhaps said borrowing of a plot and changing a couple of things here and there including names is not illegal, but to me is unethical and just plain wrong. Writing is all about originality, stealing someone else’s idea makes you a thief not a writer, it may not be this way for everyone, including this Dreamspinner Press editor, ...more

1.5 Stars

Too much needless angst and drama!!! I really enjoyed the first 40% - 50% of the book, but then it all went downhill from there. I enjoyed the relationship dynamics, and most of the side characters. I thought the chemistry between Bear and Otter was perfect. Bear had this sarcastic wit about him that brought humor into the story. I really liked him at first. I thought the Kid was a well developed character. He provoked a few eye-rolls, but for the most part he had me smiling.

Once Bear
A re-read for me and I loved it just as much the second time around its a pretty special story and will continue to be one for a long time to come.

Wow I loved everything about this wonderful story it was clever, witty and the dialogue between the Kid and Bear was oh so funny who could forget his little words of wisdom they cracked me up. The poems and the dinner date on the beach was hilarious I could not stop laughing. I loved Bear and Otter but the Kid he tugged at my heart he was adorable and

BR with Jewel and Todd as our guest star


So, this was one of the books you see around all the time but never decided to go for. And it turned out that my good friend Jewel was late to the party too, so with Todd's advice, we started dancing reading together. And I had so much fun!

This was my first book of T.J.Klune and it became clear to me from the beginning how talented the man is.

THIS is the way my world ends. Watch:

And BAM! I'm hooked from the
Cristina T.

I've had Bear, Otter, and the Kid on my to-read shelf for a long time, but for some reason I kept skipping it. Then I read that the book bore a strong resemblance to the movie Shelter. I adore that movie–it's one of my favorites–so, needless to say, I started to read the book right away. And now I want to smack myself upon the head, because I could've done myself a favor by reading this sooner. I fell in love with it!!! Seriously. It's utterly perfect.

I need to get something out of the way first
Nikyta *Miss Forgetful*
4.5 stars

I really, really loved this book. It was funny, had characters I loved and read so easily I didn't even realize how fast I was reading until I'd glance down and notice I just covered boat loads of kindle locations in under an hour. I very much enjoyed it.

First and foremost, this book is a bit angsty. However, it's offset by the comedic characters throughout the pages. I was either laughing or smiling throughout the book and when I wasn't doing that, I was aching for what these character
I don't even think I have the words to describe how amazing this book is. I could not put this book down for a second. It drew me in and didn't let me go until I was finished. I normally hate first person perspective. I never read a book with it but the voice was absolutely perfect and I am now convinced that it would not have been the same had it not been written that way. This was one of the most heartfelt, touching, honest, amazing written, beautiful stories I have ever read. I cried, I despa ...more
This book made me cry a lot.

If Tell Me It's Real made me laugh out loud, this one made me cry all throughout. Good writing, great main and secondary characters, and oh so dramatic plot and story line.

This is one of those books that I've judged by its cover. I've thoroughly underestimated it. I've been crying from the first 25% of the book and that is hard to achieve from me. I guess this book got me because I was raised by a single mom, and reading this made me love my mom even more. (Thank God
I am late to the party, everyone in the world read this before me but I will admit to liking my characters, if apart, in the same exact place mentally and emotionally, or just wishing that they were together. So Bear with his highs and lows that didn't mirror Otter's feelings, I was worried would be too much for me. Boy was I wrong. Everyone has said how much they love The Kid. I did too but my love pales beside my adoration of Bear. He's a rock and not, he's a little frayed around the edges. Bu ...more
BR with Eleftheria and special guest, Todd!

I've heard about this book for ages, but didn't pick it up, until a few weeks ago, at which point I was told I must read it now! And my friend Eleftheria hadn't read it, either, so we decided to do a buddy read. It was so much fun getting to talk about this book along the way.

I'm sitting here, trying to get my thoughts together for a review and so much is bubbling up. The characters were so well written, and the narrative was engaging and funny. The
Thanks to a friend on GR, I was able to borrow Bear, Otter and the Kid through Kindle's lending program. I wanted to see for myself before making a judgment about the current allegations of plagiarism.

For the record, I have seen Shelter (2007) starring Brad Rowe and Trevor Wright. I own the movie and have seen it more than 20 times in the last couple of years. It is one of my favorite movies of all time. So I am a little biased on that point.

However, in my estimation, there are similarities bet
WOW... Just goes to show you that you can't judge a book by its cover (or title).

I have have had this book on my TBR list for quite awhile and for some reason couldn't make the decision to purchase and read it. That is until some good friends told me it was a great story. It pulled on all my emotions: Happy (laughed out loud at times), Sad (tears were running down my face), Anger (just wanted to scream), Frustration (OMG, just figure it out Bear). If a book can do that to me it's a 5 star read.
Edina Rose
I like books with children. I thought I would like this book. The general idea/theme was interesting. But unfortunately, I did not like the book much.

I liked some parts of the books, like the bad poetry (absolutely endearing and silly and funny), some lines like "The fight for you was all I've ever known", or some emotional moments between Bear and Otter, or Bear and the Kid.

But I struggled to finish this book because I did not warm up to the characters and the plot did not pull me.

IMHO, Anna
I would have loved this as much as everyone did and given it 5 stars but I didn't, can't...and am relieved it's over.

I did start out liking it very much, finding just a little quirky and didn't mind at all that it settled down into a warm, fuzzy friends-to-romance story, even if The Kid was a tad overdone. That Klune was able to get me to keep reading past the first page is a feat indeed because it's written in Present Tense and I Hate. Hate. Hate. Present Tense. Not only did I not notice it was
Kaje Harper
I really enjoyed this book, and was swept along by its humor and roller-coaster emotions. Otter - now there's a character whom I'll be happy to read more about (and I hear there is a sequel planned, which I will definitely buy.) And the secondary characters were well done, not too saccharine but warm and interesting. (view spoiler) ...more
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looking for more books like this please 7 81 Sep 09, 2015 02:24PM  
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When TJ Klune was eight, he picked up a pen and paper and began to write his first story (which turned out to be his own sweeping epic version of the video game Super Metroid—he didn't think the game ended very well and wanted to offer his own take on it. He never heard back from the video game company, much to his chagrin). Now, two decades later, the cast of characters in his head have only gott ...more
More about T.J. Klune...

Other Books in the Series

Bear, Otter, and the Kid (3 books)
  • Who We Are (Bear, Otter, and the Kid, #2)
  • The Art of Breathing (Bear, Otter, and the Kid, #3)
Who We Are (Bear, Otter, and the Kid, #2) Tell Me It's Real (Tell Me It's Real, #1) The Art of Breathing (Bear, Otter, and the Kid, #3) Into This River I Drown Burn (Elementally Evolved, #1)

Share This Book

“You want to know what it feels like to be castrated? Try having your nine-year-old brother protect you from your ex-girlfriend after you've told her you're in love with a man.” 89 likes
“There's nothing like being admonished by a nine-year-old ecoterrorist in training.” 67 likes
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