Reading Recovery is an intensive literacy programme designed for young students who have been identified as being at-risk of reading failure after 1 year of schooling. The intervention was developed and trialled in New Zealand over 20 years ago and is now implemented in a number of education systems. The focus of this article is on recent research into the operationalisation of the programme with an overview of what it has done well and what it has not done so well. Reading Recovery has been very successful in bringing about change on the political and teacher training levels. In terms of efficacy in remediating literacy difficulties, however, the findings are more equivocal. What we have learned from Reading Recovery may assist in the implementation of new interventions based on more contemporary research.