Innstillingen av en historie er den viktigste tiden og stedet. Studentene kan bruke et innstillingskart for å illustrere de forskjellige innstillingene i boken og skrive en kort beskrivelse av hver i beskrivelsesboksen.
RETURN TO SENDER: SETTING
LAS MARGARITAS, MEXICO
PAQUETTE FARM, VERMONT, USA
AUNT ROXIE & UNCLE TONY'S APARTMENT: BOSTON, MA
CRUZ APARTMENT, NORTH CAROLINA
The Cruz family is from Las Margaritas, Mexico, which Mari describes as being in the south of Mexico. Her grandparents and Tio Armando's family still live there. Mari, her parents, Tio Armando, and Tio Felipe went to the United States to try and have a better life and to be able to work and send money back to their family in Mexico.
The Paquette family live on a dairy farm in Vermont. The farm has been in their family for generations and Tyler describes it as his favorite place in the world. They raise cows for milk and also grow grains in the fields to be able to feed the cows.
Aunt Roxie and Uncle Tony live in an apartment in the city in Boston, MA. Tyler spent time with them there at the beginning of the story and Mari and her mother take refuge there toward the end. Aunt Roxie and her husband Uncle Tony work out of their apartment running a party planning business.
The Cruz's lived in an apartment in North Carolina when they first came to the United States. They had found intermittent work there as farm laborers. Ofie and Luby were born in North Carolina and thus are American citizens.