The action in Tiger Eyes occurs in two states, New Jersey and New Mexico. It takes place before, during, and after fifteen-year-old Davey Wexler's first year of high school. The year is approximately 1980 (Davey's father, who graduated from high school in 1964, was thirty-four when he was shot and killed during a robbery of his 7-Eleven store). In the opening scene, the Wexlers are getting ready for the funeral and Davey is desperately trying to find a pair of shoes to wear.

Chapters 1 through 6 take place in Atlantic City, where the Wexlers live in an apartment above Mr. Wexler's store. After the school year begins, when it becomes apparent that the family is not adjusting well to their loss, they travel to Los Alamos to stay with Davey's aunt and uncle.

Despite being called the Atomic City, Los Alamos, also known as The Hill due to its altitude of 7,300 feet, is pictured as a very safe town, particularly compared with dangerous, crime-ridden Atlantic City. In Los Alamos, Davey lives in a large home and, after a few weeks when it is determined that they will stay for a while, attends Los Alamos High, "a very good school." Although Davey finds Los Alamos "flat and ordinary," it is strategically isolated and surrounded by spectacular scenery. This locale provides Davey with a beautiful canyon to explore, and it is in this canyon that she meets Wolf. Except for a trip into Santa Fe for Christmas shopping, the action in Los Alamos occurs...

(The entire section is 372 words.)