The authors examine the growth and impact of guided reading, small group teaching for differentiated instruction in reading that was stimulated by their early publications. Many changes in literacy education have been observed as a result—almost as if educators had a “romance” with guided reading and leveled books. While changes have been positive, the “reality” is that there is much more work to be done to bring guided reading to its full potential for helping children become effective and joyful users of literacy. The authors call for a deeper understanding of the reading process and of the text characteristics of leveled books. They discuss misconceptions regarding fluency and describe the strategic use of assessment and the role of facilitative talk. Regarding guided reading instruction, we are at the end of the beginning and need to forge new understandings for the future.