Improving decoding was the focus of this qualitative multiple case study. Four fourth grade participants received intensive, explicit reading intervention from an expert reading teacher for 17 weeks. Data from intervention class observations, documents, and interviews with participants and classroom teacher were analyzed to determine how these striving readers learned to improve their reading, and data from two of the participants are described in detail. Major themes were a) striving readers can make progress with intense intervention, b) reading specialists must use professional judgment to make instructional decisions, c) there are degrees of explicitness needed during instruction, and d) there is a need for continued intervention by an expert reading teacher. Additionally, intrusions that affected intervention were identified.