The young adult novel called After Tupac and D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson is an attempt by the thirteen year old narrator to make sense of her life and friendships and to dream of the future. There are many typical teenage issues and the narrator and her two friends, Neeka and D, who assumes the surname "Foster" to give her at least some sense of normality, strive to understand what D calls their "Big Purpose." The narrator is very aware that D's life experience and circumstances are very different from her own as D is a foster child who has far more freedom than either the narrator or Neeka could wish for and of which they are envious. Knowing D, however, means that the narrator and her friends have "lived a hundred lives" in the two years they know D before her biological mother returns and takes her "home." All three of the girls have a love of the music of controversial rapper Tupac Shakur- "Pac"- who finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time on more than one occasion and tragically, he will die in a shooting incident (not his first).
Setting in literature includes the actual location of the story which in this novel is Queens, New York where the three African-American girls live and where the narrator and Neeka have always lived. It will be revealed that D's biological mother is white and will add to the mystery which surrounds D but will not detract from the sense of belonging she feels with her friends. The time period is also important in establishing the setting, and in this novel, the year is 1995 and the narrator relates details of the previous two years since D arrived in the city. Setting is important because it allows the reader to understand the context better. In Queens, life for these girls includes exposure to injustice, discrimination and violence but also reveals how fiercely protective the narrator's mother is- something D craves. Therefore, the setting also contributes to the mood of the story.