The Murphy and Scootie series were derived from a pet turtle that the author had in her third grade class for approximately two consecutive school years. Although Murphy was a real reptile, through the mind of the author, Murphy would come alive. Murphy is a walking talking turtle whose family relocates from Washington, DC to Bayberry, Alabama because of his father's job. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Turphy are also walking talking turtles. On the first day of school at Bayberry Elementary, Murphy is introduced to his new best friend Willie Clarence aka Scootie. This third grade class is full of love and action as their teacher Ms. Read exposes them to a wealth of experiences. On this journey, Murphy also befriends two of his classmates, Angelica and Candy.