Thousands and thousands of middle school students around the world participate in reading intervention programs, many that are very expensive with limited effectiveness. We wanted to know if an after-school intervention focused on close reading procedures could improve student achievement. Close reading of complex text involves annotations, repeated reading, text-dependent questions, and discussions. This manuscript reports on 75 students in grades 7-8 who received the close reading intervention and compares their outcomes with 247 students who received a traditional intervention. Results suggest that close reading can be an effective intervention, with significant increases in student attendance, self-perception, and achievement.