Where and when does Tears of a Tiger take place?

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The novel mostly takes place at the Hazelwood Highschool from November 2nd to May the 15th, as the school tries to recover from the death of a popular student called Robert Washington.

Like she does with much of the information in the novel, the writer holds back the year and...

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The novel mostly takes place at the Hazelwood Highschool from November 2nd to May the 15th, as the school tries to recover from the death of a popular student called Robert Washington.

Like she does with much of the information in the novel, the writer holds back the year and even the novel's exact location. Much of the novel is, in fact, written in the form of dialogue, letters, and school essays, which is probably done in order to focus on the human aspect of the story. After all, death and its impact, particularly on young people, is a universal and timeless theme. Since the story was first published in 1994 and the writer mentions such nineties TV series as "L. A. Law," the reader can presume the story is set in the early nineties.

There is another location at a psychologist's office, which Andy visit every now and again to talk about the death of his friend and his role in it. The reader knows that the office is not located at the school, because he goes there during the school holidays on December the 29th. Everything else takes place during the semester.

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Tears of a Tiger takes place at Hazelwood High School. The exact location of this fictional high school is unknown, but there is mention of snow on the ground, so it must be in a location where it snows. The exact year of the setting is also not provided, but the book does take place in modern times, from November through May.

Sharon Draper, the author, likely left the setting vague on purpose to make novel is more relatable. As it is written, it feels like this story could happen at any high school in any generation. This is important when we examine the plot of the story: a high school athlete makes a poor decision with drinking and driving that results in the death of his friend, and he then struggles with guilt and regret. Unfortunately, this can happen at any high school in any location.

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The novel specifically takes place at Hazelwood High School. The school's mascot is a tiger; so the author, Sharon Draper, uses that word in the title for a double meaning.  A Hazelwood Tiger, Andy Jackson, mourns his actions that resulted in his friend's death; Andy is also a tiger in another sense because of the Alpha male characteristics he possesses.

The novel follows the course of most of a school year.  The first "article" is from November, and the last is from mid-May.

Draper is careful to exclude specific mentions of a state or year.  Instead, she makes the novel universal; so that teens from various states and generations can identify with the angst and real-world situations that the characters face.

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