Best jQuery Books For Beginners, Specialists, and Special Purposes

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Best jQuery Books

“Why on Earth would I need to use jQuery?”, a young inexperienced programmer would ask. A proficient developer would already be experienced enough to say that jQuery is a turning point of modern web programming that has significantly simplified and accelerated client-side scripting of HTML. However, if you’re nothing but an average Internet user, you would be happy to know that for the last couple of years the majority of websites and social media have adopted jQuery for making web page updates as fast and ergonomic as possible, which is why you can now see your Facebook friend’s reply almost the same second it has been sent.

jQuery is a popular free cross-platform JavaScript library designed to simplify front-end development and which by now is actively used on almost 700,000 websites with the highest traffic rates on the web. Its extensive use is related primarily to a wide support of various browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and IE 9 (or higher). Apart from that, jQuery provides an easy access to the DOM programming interface allowing for a massive element selection (using the Sizzle cross-platform CSS selector) and manipulation based on its elements’ names and attributes. It’s also convenient for creating AJAX-based web applications and elements with specialized visual effects and animation.

And this is by far the least you can learn to do with jQuery. So if you feel like going deeper into the library and interactive programming in general, feel free to choose one or more books from our list of the best jQuery books you may find on the web.

jQuery for beginners

Head First jQuery by Ryan Benedetti

Best jQuery Books

This book by Ryan Benedetti will guide you through all aspects of the jQuery library proving that frontend programming can be even more convenient and productive than ever. It is mainly recommended for web developers and experienced website owners who aim to make their websites user-friendly and at the same time advanced from the structural point of view. Head First jQuery will also teach you lots of practical stuff, such as:

  • how to navigate HTML documents;
  • how to use jQuery functional for various purposes, such as creating visual on-page effects and animations, handling different events, building forms and other interactive web elements, etc.;
  • how to write productive AJAX applications;
  • how to seamlessly leverage the power of HTML and CSS;
  • how to effortlessly manipulate given data with JSON, MySQL and PHP;
  • how to go beyond existing HTML and CSS limitations by using jQuery in combination with DOM;
  • …and more.

The given book is actually a part of the specialized educational series Head First dedicated to guiding programming novices into the world of  computer science. It stresses the importance of visual representation for explaining complex programming concepts that can be hard to grasp by non-technical students. And, just like other books in the series, it present the topic in plain and accessible language accompanied with bright examples and life-related stories. Overall, it’s a good book to introduce oneself to the main concepts of web programming and, of course, jQuery itself.

You can now purchase the book on Amazon for $27.94 (in paperback) or as an e-book – for $17.27.

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jQuery Cookbook: Solutions & Examples for jQuery Developers by Cody Lindley

Best jQuery Books

All the practical jQuery tips and techniques you may find in this book are actually provided to you by 19 highly experienced web developers that went through a long journey for mastering all the slightest detail of this JavaScript library. With the help of this handy guide, you will learn how to integrate basic elements to existing web pages but also how to build your own full-fledged web applications.

Because the book follows a pretty standard delivery pattern, the reader will be first followed through a brief introduction to web development and how jQuery contributes to it and then gradually passing on to more complex practical issues. As a result, this book will effectively teach you the following practices:

  • Resolve all major problems related to primary jQuery features, such as events, visual effects, themes, forms, and UI elements;
  • Learn how to improve existing forms and how to arrange elements on a page;
  • Acquire the specifics of jQuery event management system;
  • Build your own UI elements (accordions, tabs and modals);
  • Check your code performance and enhance it to eliminate potential errors;
  • Test your jQuery apps using the most effective time-proven techniques.

The majority of readers find this book extremely useful for making first steps towards the jQuery library, although lacking anything essentially new for those already experienced in the topic. What’s more important, the Cookbook won’t suit people unfamiliar with Java or programming in general. So this practical guide should be primarily considered as a set of case studies for practicing web developers and their daily routine.

The book currently costs $25.18, while its Kindle e-book version – just $15.39.

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JavaScript & jQuery: The Missing Manual by David Sawyer McFarland

Best jQuery Books

If you’re interested in interactive web design and want to master it in no effort, you should probably try out this one. You should note, however, that this book also puts great emphasis on JavaScript as the core of modern front-end development, so it’s even a better option for you as a beginner to start your journey to jQuery from here.

The book starts off with JavaScript basics, explaining how it can be incorporated into any kind of web application. Later on, it moves to describing jQuery and jQuery UI libraries – the most powerful libraries for creating responsive easy-to-use applications. So by the end of the book, you’ll become good at:

  • building basic programs using JavaScript;
  • applying jQuery tools for building interactive web pages for multiple browsers;
  • leveraging jQuery’s major features, such as widgets, visual effects, and interactions.
  • creating various animated on-page elements, such as pop-up windows, navigation menus, diverse slideshows, etc.
  • building basic on-site forms to provide users with more advanced feedback opportunities;
  • mastering practical jQuery techniques through a set of bright and illustrative tutorials.

Customer reviews on Amazon make it essentially clear that, although this book is considered a beginner’s guide to jQuery as part of JavaScript, it still requires at least some basic knowledge of HTML and CSS from the reader. Apart from that, the overall style and content of the book are excellent for effortless acquisition of the topic by beginning web developers.

You can now purchase this handy guide on Amazon for as much as $34.99, and as a Kindle a-book – for $24.99.

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jQuery in 8 Hours by Ray Yao

Best jQuery Books

This one is actually an e-book which contains only relevant information regarding jQuery and how to put it into practice. It covers a great number of various case studies that will help you acquire basic jQuery concepts faster by constantly referring to practical experience. The book covers such topics as jQuery functions, events, elements selection, visual effects and animation methods, Ajax integration, and more. For the final stage, it offers you a set of 100 jQuery tests to help you reinforce newly received knowledge and get ready for a potential job interview. Finally, you will get an easy access to jQuery source code to be able to get up and running with first practical steps in no time.

The given book is believed to provide one of the easiest ways of mastering jQuery thanks to a rather simple and accessible language, clear examples and bright analogies, and, of course, effective material structure. Considering its unbelievably low price ($2.99), you should definitely give it a try.

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jQuery in Action by Bear Bibeault, Yehuda Katz and Aurelio De Rosa

Best jQuery Books

A book from in Action series, it provides a complete guide to jQuery and its major features with tons of useful examples and self-check exercises. It’s strongly recommended for JavaScript beginners with a basic knowledge of core web programming skills. As for the book’s content itself, it includes a thorough coverage of:

  • jQuery’s traversing of HTML documents;
  • Events handling;
  • Visual effects and animations available with jQuery;
  • Plugin creation;
  • Code unit testing;
  • Creating comprehensive front-end applications;
  • …and more.

Each newly introduced concept is presented by a unique code snippet taken from a real-world study case, so there is literally nothing in this book you can’t encounter on a regular basis. It’s also worth noting that the guide’s latest edition is fully updated with jQuery 3 features, which makes it one of the most up-to-date learning sources.

The readers themselves find this guide appealing especially because of thoroughly processed and reorganized content, which makes it much easier for them to understand the topic. Neat explanations tend to get to detail conveying not only what happens but also why it happens. In addition, you get access to run-in-browser labs where you can practice your skill and be able to see the results of your work right away without the need for writing the whole code from scratch.

A paperback version of the book is now $40.21 on Amazon.

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JavaScript & jQuery: Interactive Front-End Web Development by Jon Duckett

Best jQuery Books

Here you will find all the relevant information regarding JavaScript, jQuery and web development in general accompanied with colorful images and graphs to help you gain better understanding of the topic.

The first part of the book concentrates on general front-end programming concepts (including HTML and CSS) which might be of use to those entering the industry for the first time. Then it slowly moves to JavaScript basic elements, such as objects, strings, events, booleans, etc. The next step would be to introduce the reader to jQuery and how it can simplify the whole process of creating interactive web applications. From there on, you’ll be shown different ways of applying jQuery’s major features to the given web page to make it look appealing to the user’s eye regardless of what device they use.

The structure is pretty much consistent throughout the book. It has been divided into small concise chunks of valuable information placed on each page to allow the readers to more easily apprehend the topic. The book is also neatly filled with detailed descriptions of JavaScript syntax and examples of its implementation with real-life code snippets. And, what’s more important, it contains many colorful illustrations to stimulate your visual memory thus making it less boring to dive into complex programming concepts.

The book perfectly suits both novices and more experienced developers, but if you feel that you lack something in general web programming, feel free to also check out another book by the same author – HTML & CSS: Design and Build Websites.

The JavaScript & jQuery book is now just $17.19 in paperback. There is also a hardcover copy available for $30.21.

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jQuery: Novice to Ninja by Earle Castledine and Craig Sharkie

Best jQuery Books

The latest edition of this book covers jQuery 1.6 which, by now, is considered a bit outdated. Nevertheless, the guide will perfectly do as a comprehensive introduction to such a popular JavaScript library. All practical examples presented in the book are based on real-life development cases and provide sufficient background for you to handle alike situations properly in the future.

What makes this guide so digestible, according to the reviewers, is the author’s good sense of humor, which adds up to the overall reader-friendly delivery of the material. In addition, even if you miss certain points during your work on practical tasks, you can go back to theory presented by clear and concise terms and examples. However, if, by the end of the book, you still feel like you missed something, you can always fill in gaps in your knowledge by reading additional jQuery sources.

A paperback copy of the book is available now for $28.25 on Amazon, while its electronic version will cost you just $15.66.

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jQuery for experienced developers

jQuery UI in Action by T.J. VanToll

Best jQuery Books

This guide is specifically devoted to a jQuery-dependant library called jQuery UI. It’s most often used as a tool for creating rich web applications through a set of various visual effects and widgets. As of the book itself, it provides the reader with a complete vision of the library and its key techniques and interaction types.

With this book, you’ll be able to quickly move from relatively simple practices, such as creating a datepicker and placing it on a page, towards more robust UI elements as part of a full web application. Moreover, you’ll learn how to adapt various page components to different devices, thus working on making your website user-friendly. You’ll also master major interactions available with jQuery UI – Draggable, Droppable, Resizable, Selectable, and Sortable. Combined with bright examples on how to use jQuery UI widgets and effects, this book can become а #1 guide towards an advanced website customization.

The author of the book is one of the core members of the initial jQuery UI team members, which only adds up to its authority. It’s also worth noting that jQuery UI in Action covers the 1.11 version of the library, which makes it a bit outdated, but still pretty helpful for the majority of front-end developers willing to improve their websites’ functionality with jQuery.

The book’s price on Amazon is now $36.68 for a paperback copy.

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Murach’s jQuery, 2nd Edition by Zak Ruvalcaba

Best jQuery Books

Unlike the previous book, Murach’s jQuery provides all essential information on JavaScript you might need for mastering jQuery. This means you don’t really have to be proficient in the language – simply don’t skip the first chapter. It’s also a good book for beginners, so don’t hesitate to acquire it for your daily practice.

Sections 2 and 3 shed light on jQuery itself as well as its smaller brother jQuery UI. Having mastered all featured techniques and practices, you will manage to build full-fledged high-performance code and provide your web apps with all the features that cannot be left out these days, such as image swaps & rollovers, accordions, carousels, tabs, etc.

The 4th section is dedicated primarily to JSON and Ajax and how you can make them part of your web page functional so that you could obtain required data from the server without reloading it. You can also see how these tools are used with API-based web applications (found on websites like Flickr and Google Maps) as well as with HTML5 APIs, such as Web Workers, Web Storage, and Geolocation.

The last section touches upon using jQuery for developing mobile apps and in a mobile manner. This one is said to be the easiest part in terms of conception, so it should be accessible enough even for beginning developers.

The book is now available in paperback on Amazon for $45.72.

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jQuery Pocket Reference by David Flanagan

Best jQuery Books

Referring to its name, the book is considered as an option for more experienced web developers who use jQuery on a daily basis and would like to have faster access to the library’s less popular/advanced features. The author provides deep insights into jQuery’s rich repertoire which allows you to create complex web applications with as minimum of code as possible.

The book tries to convey important jQuery concepts with little text and a great number of handy tips and wise notes based on real-life experience of the author. Specifically, you’ll get to know the following:

  • how to work with jQuery document elements;
  • how to distinguish and handle various events;
  • how to use jQuery for creating cool effects and animations;
  • how to write HTTP scripts by using AJAX functional;
  • how to leverage other essential jQuery elements, such as selectors, selection methods, plugins, utilities, etc.

According to the reviews, the book seems to lag behind a bit in terms of its relevance, which is actually due to it having been published in 2010. But although it does not consider the latest updates in jQuery, it nevertheless does represent a pretty good source of knowledge. Thus, web developers that are in need to clarify certain topics can use this reference for further improvement of their current projects.

Due to being a relatively old book by now, it now costs only $8.86 on Amazon. You can also purchase it as a Kindle e-book for $7.69.

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A Smarter Way to Learn jQuery by Mark Myers

Best jQuery Books

This book claims to make the knowledge of jQuery literally stick in your mind thanks to the author’s revolutionary approach to learning.  It’s provided with around 1,500 accessory online exercises that help the learner acquire the skill, not just bare facts and concepts. That is why the given guide can become an effective substitute for a real teacher – it makes you practice all the way through the book, and it largely contributes to fast and productive learning process.

What makes this book even more important is the fact that it covers an ultimate set of jQuery topics thus requiring no further specialized reading. Except for that on JavaScript itself, of course. So if you are still looking for an effective jQuery studying material, this one must become your #1 choice so far.

You can buy the book’s paperback version for $19.08, and its Kindle version – for just $7.99. Practical exercises and tests are provided to you free of charge.

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jQuery Design Patterns by Thodoris Greasidis

Best jQuery Books

This one would give you a nice addon to your existing jQuery knowledge, specifically because it puts more emphasis on jQuery design patterns which might be of need when optimizing complex jQuery-based applications. The author gives a thorough review of the library’s most frequently used patterns – observer pattern and deferred observer pattern – as the main techniques for an effective event management. Apart from that, you will learn other jQuery patterns, including module, facade, and widget, that will help you handle more complex front-end issues.

The first chapter of the book gives a general overview of the jQuery library and its primary features, thus allowing you to refresh your knowledge of the topic before you move to more complex concepts. Then, step by step, you’ll be presented with various design patterns that are relevant for keeping your website up and running. Next, you’ll find out about the most popular front-end templating techniques and libraries with a bit of handy tips on successful plugin development. Finally, you’ll be given a number of practical tasks that will allow you to reinforce newly acquired skills.

Overall, the book covers the following topics:

  • building response to user actions;
  • writing flexible code by using a minimal set of tools;
  • developing a central point for handling events;
  • dividing the given application into smaller independent modules;
  • dealing with complex APIs;
  • separate production of complex application parts;
  • leveraging asynchronous processing with the help of jQuery Deferred and Promises;
  • Introduction to major client-side templating libraries for more advanced web design cases.

The paperback version of the book is now $39.99 on Amazon.

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jQuery for Designers by Natalie MacLees

Best jQuery Books

Now, this one is written for web developers as well, so don’t think it’s somehow related to graphic design. So if you have already acquired some skill in HTML and CSS, welcome to the world of interactive web design ruled by the jQuery library. Among the major things you’re up to learn with this book are:

  • ways of using jQuery for intense website optimization;
  • using modular pattern to building interactive elements for your apps;
  • everything that concerns jQuery itself, including interactive front-end design, building dynamic web apps, and more.

The book contains a brief introduction to JavaScript but only to refresh your knowledge of the language, so if you’re not familiar with it at all, try using another book. The greatest part of the book is dedicated to jQuery itself, with detailed explanations on how to use the library’s core features to create stunning visual effects, dynamic on-page elements, and user-friendly web pages. More specifically, you’ll be guided through the following topics:

  • How to prepare your website for jQuery integration;
  • How to build basic web interfaces containing tabs and custom tooltips;
  • How to use accordions for improving your FAQ page;
  • How to use jQuery’s visual effects to create interactive, animated drop-down menus;
  • How to display images, videos, and other content on your page in special lightboxes;
  • How to leverage the power of slideshows, sliders, and carousels;
  • How to use jQuery for creating high-end responsive design and topography;
  • How jQuery can help identify user actions on your web page and timely respond to it.

The book costs $39.99, and it’s totally worth it, unless you’re completely unfamiliar with web development, of course.

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jQuery Gems by Greg Sidelnikov

Best jQuery Books

This is a rather concise jQuery material presented in a set of the most relevant examples and tips for a daily use. As a result, it won’t be useful to those who have no idea what jQuery and JavaScript are. But those who only need some additional guidance and clarification of doubtful web design cases will certainly find this book helpful.

Every “gem” the book presents is, in fact, an isolated case analysis which allows you to solve immediate problems without wasting time on unnecessary explanations. Overall, there are around 46 different case studies that cover the most frequently occurring jQuery issues and allow you to feel more confident when building complex web applications of your own. In addition, the book also has pretty much straight-forward illustrative graphs that provide even more aid to the reader.

While some might think that the book won’t offer anything new to the experienced developers, the actual book’s reviews on Amazon state quite the opposite. For instance, it covers some additional details on DOM elements and their role in building interactive web design with jQuery, which is often left out in other books. Moreover, the author explains why certain objects do what they do and how a developer can use them for improving their project. As a result, you get not only a reference book on jQuery but a valuable source of wisdom which will prevent you from potential mistakes in the future.

The book is only available in a form of a Kindle e-book which will cost you just $3.25.

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Practical jQuery by Ankur Kumar and Mukund Chaudhary

Best jQuery Books

The author of this book claims that, while it may be pretty easy to grasp the basics of jQuery, it’s not that easy to comprehend its hidden opportunities that exist to add complete automation to your web development process. Perhaps, these are the opportunities you were looking for when you were struggling with one of those long-running projects of yours. Essentially, this is what the book tries to convey, page by page.

At its core, the book will teach you:

  • how to use jQuery for managing DOM elements on your web page;
  • how to build handy plugins to extend the library’s initial functionality;
  • how to create stunning visual effects and animations for improving the look of your website;
  • how to deal with certain practical cases and avoid troubles in your app;
  • how to test your code to ensure it works at the peak of its potential.

The book is now $44.99 on Amazon, but you can always purchase an e-book version costing as much as $31.72.

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jQuery for specific purposes

Beginning jQuery 2 for ASP.NET Developers by Bipin Joshi

Best jQuery Books

This one is a rather specific jQuery book illustrating how JavaScript’s famous library can be used in combination with the ASP.NET framework to provide even more powerful source of productive web development. While jQuery is considered to be a robust tool for creating cross-browser interactive applications, ASP.NET provides extensive opportunities for building large-scale dynamic web pages in general.

First of all, the book will show you how to properly integrate jQuery with ASP.NET settings thus ensuring smooth in-browser event management. Then you will learn how to build and maintain dynamic web content by providing it with responsive features. Another important topic – visual effects and animations – is the most extensive one today due to its fantastiс opportunities in modern front-end development. Of course, a separate part of the book is also devoted to jQuery’s top-notch technology Ajax and its key ability to load new data from server to browser without reloading a page. Finally, you will be introduced to the library’s special mobile framework allowing you to create web applications that would work equally fine across all types of devices.

The book’s paperback copy is now $44.99, while an equivalent e-book – $31.72.

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jQuery Game Development Essentials by Selim Arsever

Best jQuery Books

Apart from being a perfect tool for building powerful modern websites, jQuery also provides a great opportunity for a creative mind. With this famous library, you’ll be able to develop full-fledged browser games of various styles and genres. The only thing you need is your willingness to explore beyond the conventional.

Throughout the book, you’ll be shown practical techniques of using jQuery’s functionality for building RPGs, platformers, and arcade games, and how you can later integrate them to various social media. What’s more important, jQuery Game Development Essentials includes entire chapters devoted to adapting your web games for the mobile devices, which is a real modern-day issue. To ensure maximum productivity, you will build your own framework using a set of various design patterns available in jQuery.

The book will start off with traditional game dev concepts, such as parallax scrolling, tie-maps and sprite animations, as seen from the perspective of jQuery. As of practical realization, you will often be referenced to the current gaming industry to see how popular studios incorporate key techniques for their own projects. Furthermore, you will be introduced to major animation techniques and visual effects you can use to optimize the look of your future game. By the end of the book, you will possess enough power to leverage all the potential jQuery can offer.

Because this book is a rather specific jQuery material, it is therefore intended for people familiar with JavaScript and fundamentals of the library. Some experience in front-end development is also required.

You can purchase this book on Amazon for $44.99 or download its digital version for half the price – $26.99.

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