That's why I was intrigued to read about the recent experience of Kelly's cousin Bob. He sent a short story to Highlights (something about an insect in the pupa stage of metamorphosis), and they turned him down. He posted the rejection letter on his blog.
First of all, I wasn't aware that Highlights magazine still existed. More surprising was the check-the-box format of their rejection letter. You can see it here.
A sample of their rejection criteria: The story involves stereotyped roles. Or it requires or encourages readers to mark on their pages. (Is this a tacit admission that their publication only exists in pediatrician waiting rooms?)
From what I read about Bob's story, it sounds awesome. So, it's their loss. At least he didn't get dinged with the stereotyped character accusation. (Not sure what a stereotyped pupa character would be exactly...)