We are never given a year for the setting of this book. From the descriptions, such as slang terms and the way the school is described, it sounds like modern day. It begins in the summer before Max and Kevin begin 8th grade. We know this because soon after Max and Kevin meet they go to the park to see the fireworks at the Fourth of July celebration. It chronicles that school year. The majority of the story ends around December although Max does give a follow up in his epilogue that completes the year.