It seemed to get pass (good story, good characters, good voice) for everything except grounding the reader in the environment. Because I don't ground the reader well, it's easy for the reader to not feel attached embedded in the stories. And to miss some of the keys essential to connecting the dots in my stories.
This is actually not a surprise - I had kindof figured this out indirectly by analyzing comments from my First Look readers. (awesome people, every one of them) The good news is that I got some explicit advice from Mark and Elizabeth about how exactly to improve this situation, and what exactly they thought failed. Their advice wasn't easy fixes for the story. It was concrete advice that is absolutely going to make me a better writer when I finish learning to write well enough that my stories aren't lacking in this way.
I need to build and develop better skills for doing this, and then return to this story and fix it. I'm going to finish Descending Pitch first and try to work on these skills there, and then come back to Children.