The Slippery Slope: A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 10



Witty story, exciting adventure keeps kids reading.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know


Plenty of intended and threatened violence, none actually carried out. Lots of children in danger here, but all done tongue in cheek, though not all readers will get that.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Esme smokes.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that few books are seen as differently by adults and children as those in A Series of Unfortunate Events. You'll probably enjoy it almost as much as your children -- but for entirely different reasons.

What's the story?

When last we saw our intrepid heroes, Sunny had been kidnapped by the dastardly Count Olaf, and Violet and Klaus were careening down a mountainside in a carnival caravan toward certain doom, a phrase which here means "a hair-raising last-minute escape depending on either Violet's talent for invention or Klaus's talent for research, or Sunny's talent for biting, or all three."

After making a drag chute out of a hammock and brakes out of sticky kitchen condiments, they set out to rescue Sunny. Along with the usual terrifying dangers and death-defying adventures, they encounter someone they thought was dead, someone else they would rather not have seen again, and snow gnats. More of their parents' history is revealed, Count Olaf meets up with some evil allies, and Sunny is growing up.

Is it any good?


Children read this story, like its nine predecessors, as a rip-roaring adventure story. The author has a seemingly inexhaustible ability to come up with unusual and creative dangers and adventures to put the siblings through, and as Saturday morning serials showed a generation ago, children have an inexhaustible appetite for thrills and melodrama. This entry in the series is a bit longer than most of the others and has more exposition and less action than some, but the author keeps it rolling along well enough to keep most young readers turning the pages.

For adults, this is witty and literary tongue-in-cheek silliness. Few children will get the allusions, such as Count Olaf's girlfriend being named after a book by J.D. Salinger, or the author's hilarious explanation of a famous Robert Frost poem: "The poet found that the road less traveled was peaceful but quite lonely, and he was probably a bit nervous as he went along, because if anything happened on the road less traveled, the other travelers would be on the road more frequently traveled and so couldn't hear him as he cried for help. Sure enough, that poet is now dead." Both children and adults can appreciate the production values of the series, though: The hardcover editions hardly cost more than paperbacks, and with their rough-cut pages, endpapers, and well-matched illustrations, they are pleasurable physical objects as well as enjoyable stories.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what makes this book so fun to read. Do you find the characters enjoyable, and why? Would you want to experience some the exciting adventures that the siblings get swept up in?

Book details

Author:Lemony Snicket
Illustrator:Brett Helquist
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:HarperCollins Children's Books
Publication date:November 9, 2003
Number of pages:337

This review of The Slippery Slope: A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 10 was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 10 years old April 9, 2008

Not the best book in the series...

This is not my favorite one...But the reaturn of Quigly Quagmire(giggity giggty)WOOT!
Parent of a 12 and 14 year old Written byskilerd February 21, 2015

Its ok?

I have my kids read these every day for 30 mins for homwork.Its good format!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Kid, 11 years old December 19, 2011

one of the best chronicles yet

A great pre-tween book that rolls along very easily and will make reluctant readers keep reading until the end. This book marks my biggest amount of pages ever read (337), but it's all worth it in the end.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Special Needs Guide