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16 Best JavaScript Books for Beginners & Pros [2023]

Posted in JavaScript, Books
JavaScript Books

Let’s admit — JavaScript is one of the biggest and most widely used programming languages around. It is so popular, in fact, that it’s used in nearly 95% of all websites on the web today.

Yes, it’s true. JavaScript is one of the leading names when it comes to front-end web development, making it one of the best programming languages to learn in 2023 and one of the favorite languages of web developers around the world. 

If you’re interested in learning the JavaScript language to expand your skill set, you’re in luck. There is a wide range of ways through which you can jumpstart your learning, ranging from tutorials to courses and college degrees.

It may feel counterintuitive, but if you want to learn JavaScript, books can still come in handy. They have, and likely always will be, a fantastic way to learn JavaScript.

A good JavaScript book can provide you with unique insights you may not have known before. These books can act as handy references and guides while also allowing you to refresh your knowledge whenever needed. And if you’re looking for a book or two to add to your shelf, you’re in the right place.

In this article, we’ve put together a list of some of the best JavaScript books 2023 has to offer. Whether you’re looking to learn more about asynchronous programming or object-oriented JavaScript, the books below can prove insightful. Let’s get to it!

2023’s Best JavaScript Books

The list below shows you the best book in each category.

What Makes the Best Books on JavaScript?

There’s no use in having a massive list of the best JS books if you don’t know how to determine which ones are right for you. Sure, one thing you should always consider before buying something is price. But in this case, there are other things to look at, too. This list of criteria can help you figure out which books are worth your time, whether you’re looking to learn JS for the first time or beef up your existing JavaScript knowledge.

  • It’s always a good idea to look into the author of a book you’re interested in reading. Are they an expert on the subject? In other words, do they have the credibility and qualifications to teach you about JavaScript? If the book is by an unestablished author or an unvetted hobbyist, you may want to think twice before you buy. Conversely, if a book is written by someone that web developers look up to, that’s an indication that it is likely to be a good read.
  • Before you purchase or start reading any books, you must first figure out your skill level. It’s recommended that you purchase a book within your skill level (or slightly above if you need a challenge), as this makes it easier for you to learn at your pace. Borrow or buy additional JavaScript textbooks later on as your skill grows.
  • Is the book written well enough? For example, were the lessons written clear and concise enough for you to understand? JavaScript can be a tough subject to learn, especially for newbies. Thus, it’s good to look for books that make learning easier for you.
  • Books are great and all, but sometimes you need some other resources to learn something more effectively. Does the book come with any additional resources such as exercises or a companion website? If reading alone feels unsatisfactory and doesn’t seem like the best way to learn, consider books that provide supplementary learning materials.

And finally, although it’s not always necessary, it may benefit you to look for a book that can help make learning fun — after all, when you’re having fun, it’s less likely you’ll find learning to be a drag. Some books are written in less serious tones than others, which can help lighten the experience for you as well. You may find that these can be some of the best books to learn JavaScript!

The Best JavaScript Books in 2023

Whether you are a new JavaScript developer or someone more advanced looking to improve their skills even further, the books below are worth considering.

Best JavaScript Books for Beginners

1. A Smarter Way to Learn JavaScript: The New Tech-Assisted Approach That Requires Half the Effort

A Smarter Way to Learn JavaScript: The New Tech-Assisted Approach That Requires Half the Effort

Rating – 4.6/5

Author – Mark Myers

Latest Edition – 1st Edition

Publisher – CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

According to Mark Myers, the author of A Smarter Way to Learn JavaScript, there are two important problems faced by those willing to learn JavaScript: retention and comprehension. It comes as no surprise that Myers wrote this book to address both issues, putting it in contention for best book to learn JavaScript.

The entire 256-page long book is divided into brief, easily digestible chapters. Each of the chapters is followed by 20 free and infinitely repeatable sample exercises available on the author’s website.

Buy Now

Looking to learn JavaScript as part of a course? Check out The Complete JavaScript Course 2023: From Zero to Expert at Udemy.

2. Learn JavaScript VISUALLY

Learn JavaScript VISUALLY

Rating – 4.3/5

Author – Ivelin Demirov

Latest Edition – 1st Edition

Publisher – Nai Inc.

Are you a visual learner? Some of us simply learn better through demonstrations, images, examples, and more. For newbie visual learners who want to grasp the basics of JS fast, Learn JavaScript VISUALLY is the best book on JavaScript. The visual approach employed by author Ivelin Demirov helps break down even the more complex topics.

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3. JavaScript: The Definitive Guide

JavaScript: The Definitive Guide

Rating – 4.5/5

Author – David Flanagan

Latest Edition – 6th Edition

Publisher – O’Reilly

JavaScript: The Definitive Guide is another beginner-friendly book for anyone interested in building powerful web apps. It explores several JS and web platform API features aimed at web application development. Reading this book can help you gain an in-depth understanding of the workings of closure, graphics, prototyping, and more.

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Alternatively, Duke University offers this course on Java Programming and Software Engineering at Coursera.

4. You Don’t Know JS

You Don’t Know JS

Rating – 4.7/5

Author – Kyle Simpson

Latest Edition – 1st Edition

Publisher – O’Reilly Media

Rather than being a single book like the rest of the titles on this list, You Don’t Know JS is a book series meant to help readers get acquainted with the most subtle technical aspects of JavaScript. Spanning a total of 6 books, the You Don’t Know JS series start with the basics of JavaScript and then moves to closure, objects, scopes, and finally ES2016 changes. 

Anyone reading the You Don’t Know JS books is sure to develop a basic understanding and appreciation for JavaScript that will only grow deeper over time. 

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5. Beginning JavaScript

Beginning JavaScript

Rating – 4.4/5

Author – Jeremy McPeak and Paul Wilton

Latest Edition – Fifth Edition

Publisher – Wrox

Beginning JavaScript by Paul Wilton and Jeremy McPeak is an excellent starting point for complete beginners. The book is written specifically to help beginners understand the fundamentals of the language, helping them n their journey to becoming a JavaScript developers.

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6. JavaScript: The Comprehensive Guide to Learning Professional JavaScript Programming

JavaScript: The Comprehensive Guide to Learning Professional JavaScript Programming

Rating — 4.9/5

Author — Philip Ackermann

Latest Edition — First edition (August 2022)

Publisher — Rheinwerk Computing

This JavaScript book will teach you the basics of programming using JavaScript. Some of the exercises require that you are familiar with HTML and CSS. It also has chapters on advanced programming topics like object-oriented and functional programming.

The book includes sections on building both front-end and back-end apps.  And you will also learn how to develop mobile apps using React and Iconic. As well as desktop app development using Electron.js.  

One advantage of this book is that it has a thoroughly-crafted index. This makes it easy for learners to navigate and cross-reference.

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We also found a course that focuses primarily on projects. You can sign up for JavaScript for Beginners at Udemy.

Best JavaScript Books for Advanced Learners

7. JavaScript & JQuery: Interactive Front-End Web Development

JavaScript & JQuery: Interactive Front-End Web Development

Rating – 4.6/5

Author – Jon Duckett

Latest Edition – 1st Edition

Publisher – Wiley

Interested in learning JavaScript & jQuery side-by-side for getting started with web development? JavaScript and JQuery: Interactive Front-End Web Development is our top recommendation.

Progressing to the next concept is not random and follows a logical direction in this book. The transition to jQuery from JavaScript is a great example of how to do it the right way.

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8. JavaScript: The Good Parts

JavaScript: The Good Parts

Rating – 4.5/5

Author – Douglas Crockford

Latest Edition – 1st Edition

Publisher – O’Reilly

With JavaScript: The Good Parts, author Douglas Crockford focuses on the basics of some of the lesser-known yet desirable aspects of JavaScript. It’s only recently that these hidden features are getting the appreciation they deserve from the programming community.

At the time of the original write-up of JavaScript: The Good Parts, JavaScript was a newborn programming language, considered a tiny scripting language in browsers. During this time, developers were starting to explore browsers for serious application development.

Before that, it was a rarity to witness real applications running in a browser. Browsers weren’t anything like the ones we have today. It was un-interactive, heavily relied on page reloads, and didn’t have any built-in storage capacity.

This book traces the development of JS from then until now.

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9. Effective JavaScript: 68 Specific Ways to Harness the Power of JavaScript

Effective JavaScript: 68 Specific Ways to Harness the Power of JavaScript

Rating – 4.6/5

Author – David Herman, Foreword by Brendan Eich

Latest Edition – 1st Edition

Publisher – Addison Wesley

This JavaScript book takes its readers on an in-depth tour of the high-level, interpreted programming language.

Author David Herman is a seasoned programmer. Through this book, he shares his technical experience through realistic and elaborate examples.

Effective JavaScript: 68 Specific Ways to Harness the Power of JavaScript introduces the readers to several fortes of the dynamic, prototype-based, and weakly-typed programming language, ranging from floating-point number precision to semicolon insertion and type coercions.

It further explores best practices to keep in mind while working with API design, arrays, concurrency, functions, libraries, and objects.

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10. Programming JavaScript Applications: Robust Web Architecture with Node, HTML5, and Moderns JS Libraries

Programming JavaScript Applications: Robust Web Architecture with Node, HTML5, and Moderns JS Libraries

Rating – 4.2/5

Rating – Eric Elliott

Latest Edition – 1st Edition

Publisher – O’Reilly

Unlike other JS books that answer the question, “How do I use JavaScript?” Programming JavaScript Applications answers, “How do I use JavaScript to build a real-world application?”

Programming JavaScript Applications is an excellent book that offers a precise overview of the JavaScript app architecture. It covers basic concepts of functional programming, JS best practices, introduction to prototypes, and object composition.

In addition to expanding JS understanding, it covers authentication and authorization, feature toggle systems, logging, Node basics, and RESTful APIs.

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Best JavaScript Books for Kids

11. JavaScript for Kids: A Playful Introduction to Programming

JavaScript For Kids

Rating – 4.6/5

Author – Nick Morgan

Latest Edition – 1st Edition

Publisher – No Starch Press

JavaScript for Kids: A Playful Introduction to Programming offers a fanciful exploration of various basic programming concepts. It also dives into some JavaScript concepts and JavaScript programming, providing children with valuable fundamental knowledge.

The entire book is divided into three parts, which are:

  • Part I: Fundamentals – Covers basic elements and key JavaScript concepts, including conditional statements, data types, functions, and loops. Details on creating simple HTML web pages as well as a text-based version of the Hangman game.
  • Part II: Advanced JavaScript – Introduces advanced techniques building upon the basics provided by Part I. Contents of the section include jQuery, object-oriented programming, responding to browser events, and running code at intervals with timers. The entire section boils down to building the Find the Buried Treasure! Game.
  • Part III: Canvas – Details about the HTML5 canvas element, how to draw to the canvas, how to animate the drawings, and how to control animations using the keyboard. Sums up with an exercise section for creating the classic Snake game.

Intermediate JavaScript developers may want to look elsewhere, as this book covers more of the fundamentals than anything else.

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12. JavaScript For Kids For Dummies

JavaScript For Kids For Dummies

Rating – 4.5/5

Author – Chris Minnick and Eva Holland

Latest Edition – First Edition

Publisher – For Dummies

JavaScript For Kids For Dummies introduces pre and early teens to the programming language JavaScript. It’s solidly in contention for the best book for learning JavaScript if you want your kids to learn the fundamentals of the language. We’d happily call this one of the best JavaScript programming books because although it’s marketed to a younger audience, even adults can lean from it too.

To cement lessons learned, students do small goal-oriented coding projects that further drive the key concepts of JavaScript home. These projects help provide some hands-on experience while students have fun making games, apps, and more.

Designed to help make learning fun, JavaScript For Kids For Dummies has students creating a calculator app, a lemonade stand app, and a mad-libs-style game.

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Best Free JavaScript Books

13. Eloquent JavaScript: A Modern Introduction to Programming

Eloquent JavaScript: A Modern Introduction to Programming

Rating – 4.5/5

Author – Marjin Haverbeke

Latest Edition – 3rd Edition

Publisher – No Starch Press

Probably the biggest standout in Eloquent JavaScript: A Modern Introduction to Programming is its heavy usage of practice exercises. 

Eloquent JavaScript lets the reader digest all its knowledge easily thanks to the way in which it was written. Though not essentially a JavaScript book, it offers an introduction to programming using JavaScript.

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14. Learning JavaScript Design Patterns

Learning JavaScript Design Patterns

Rating – 4.4/5

Author – Addy Osmani

Addy Osmani is a Google Developer Programs Engineer who decided to write about the design patterns in JavaScript. This book covers what’s known as the “Gang of Four” patterns in design including jQuery plug-in design, namespacing patterns, and much more. A design pattern is a reusable solution to problems that commonly occur within software design. Learning JavaScript Design Patterns explores classical and modern JavaScript design patterns.

The book itself was based on published blog posts and articles from Addy Osmani as well as other knowledgeable experts. In a way, it compiles a lot of useful information into one place so you don’t have to waste time navigating to several pages to read the same information.

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15. The Modern JavaScript Tutorial

The Modern JavaScript Tutorial

Rating – 4.6/5

Author – JavaScript.info

Although not necessarily a book, The Modern JavaScript Tutorial is still a fantastic resource to learn about the extremely popular programming language. It may even be the only JS tutorial you’d ever need.

The Modern JavaScript Tutorial is divided into three different parts each covering a different aspect of learning the language:

  • Part 1: The JavaScript Language
  • Part 2: Browser: Document, Events, Interfaces
  • Part 3: Additional articles

This tutorial is well-organized. Thus, even if the resource may feel a bit intimidating, you might find that it’s less troublesome to start than you may have thought initially. If you want to learn about asynchronous programming, error handling, object-oriented JavaScript, and more, you can start here.

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16. The JavaScript Beginner’s Handbook

The JavaScript Beginner’s Handbook

Rating – 4.6/5

Author – Flavio Copes

If you’d like to learn more about JavaScript for free, The JavaScript Beginner’s Handbook is a great place to start. This book, written by Flavio Copes, is an excellent resource for those who want to expand whatever knowledge they have about JavaScript. We’d happily call this one of the best books for learning JavaScript, especially since it’s 100% free!

Although the book is called the beginner’s handbook, it’s not necessarily made for beginners. In this book, you’ll learn about values, syntax, strings, variables, objects, and more — most, if not all, of what you need to learn to become an effective developer.

If you enjoyed The JavaScript Beginner’s Handbook, it may be worth looking into Flavio Copes’ other books. He currently has fifteen available for free if you sign up for the newsletter on his website.

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Other Worthy Reads

Although we listed some of the very best books on JavaScript above, that doesn’t mean that those are the only ones worth reading. There are countless other books full of insights and knowledge that can help web developers with their careers.

The books below are good for web developers, beginner or intermediate Javascript developers, and even advanced professionals. They cover key JavaScript concepts, JavaScript functions, and more.

Conclusion

Books will always be a great way to learn, though you may want to find ones with supplementary resources if you want to learn something as complex as JavaScript. Nevertheless, reading a book can inform you about JavaScript frameworks and IDEs (integrated development environments).

There is a wide range of JavaScript books for you to pick up at any time. Through these books, you can glean all the knowledge you need to become a successful JavaScript developer who understands everything from object-oriented JavaScript to error handling, and so much more.

We hope that this list of the best books for JavaScript has helped you find your next read. If you believe we missed one that should be included, let us know in the comments below!

Are you ready to start your career as a developer? Consider improving your resume by earning one of the best JavaScript certifications.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which book is best for JavaScript for beginners? 

If you are a newbie looking to learn, you can take a look at JavaScript: The Definitive Guide. If you would rather look for a free version, you can take a look at The JavaScript Beginner’s Handbook.

2. Can I learn JavaScript in a week?

You most certainly can, although you may not get too far beyond the basics within this timeline. It depends on how much coding experience you have and how many hours you dedicate to studying the JavaScript language. If you join bootcamps, which are intense JavaScript courses, you can accelerate your learning.

3. Can you learn JavaScript from a book?

Reading books to learn JavaScript can be quite an effective way to become proficient at JS coding. However, reading alone won’t be enough — also ensure that you are doing exercises and projects for some hands-on experience. Learning by doing is one of the best ways to truly pick up a new skill.

4. Can I learn JavaScript in 3 months?

We’ve established that it is possible to learn JavaScript in a week with enough dedication (and probably by joining a bootcamp or course). So the answer is yes, you can learn JavaScript in 3 months, as long as you put enough time and effort into it!

Shruti Kaushik

Shruti Kaushik

Shruti is a professionally accredited content specialist and works closely with brands to identify their disconnect in content marketing, then further strategizing the same. She started pursuing her independent journey as a consultant after leaving her decent 9 to 5 job with Google News as an editor, and have worked withSony, Ministry of Skills and Entrepreneurship Ma Foi Group, TOI, Indochine International, Kakaku, Inc in the past. View all posts by the Author

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