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5 Best JavaScript Books: A Coding Teacher’s Perspective

Generally speaking, I wouldn’t recommend coding books or coding textbooks because by the time they are published they are already out of date or will be within a few years. That being said, when I was teaching coding I spent a lot of time reading/watching content from various avenues to make sure my students would have relevant content, practical exercises and knowledge for entry-level jobs.

Selection Process

As a teacher, I read a lot during the process of curriculum development. Usually, I speed read 2–4 books and often 10–20 online articles a week and then spend a week or two before the new unit putting it all together by creating slides, creating custom coding exercises & activities, and supplementing it all with youtube videos and additional readings for students who learn differently (IEP or more advance).

When I’m speed reading I’m looking to see how well the content meets the criteria below:

  1. Explanations — Are the terms/concepts well explained? Do they have diagrams or visuals?
  2. Practice — Does the book have step by step code exercises? Do they have more open-ended projects as you’d see on the job?
  3. Assessments — Does the book have any knowledge assessments such as quizzes, interview questions, a glossary of terms/concepts?
  4. Advanced Topics — Does it cover advanced topics such as design patterns, data structures & algorithms, immutability, functional programming, etc ?
  5. Popular Technology — Does it provide in-depth knowledge of a popular library or framework?

Although there are plenty of needlessly long textbooks written on web development and built for college classes, most books, in my opinion, don’t completely cover all of these categories when it comes to JavaScript development or full-stack JavaScript. So in this article, we’ll use a star rating from 1-5 to quickly communicate how well they do in each category.

📖Number of Pages
Explanations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Practice ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Assessments ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Advanced Topics ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Popular Technology ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The first three books, I will be recommending are on JavaScript fundamentals. After that, I will be recommending one book on NodeJS and one on React. I could definitely recommend more books but I wanted to keep down to 5.

Eloquent JavaScript, 3rd Edition:

A Modern Introduction to Programming by Marijn Haverbeke
📖472 Explanations ⭐⭐⭐ Practice ⭐⭐⭐ Advanced Topics ⭐⭐⭐
Popular Technology ⭐⭐⭐ Assessments ⭐

You Don’t Know Js: this & Object Prototypes by Kyle Simpson.

📖144 Explanations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Practice ⭐⭐⭐ Assessments ⭐
Advanced Topics ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Popular Technology ⭐

Learning JavaScript Data Structures and Algorithms — Second Edition By Loiane Groner

📖314 Explanations ⭐⭐⭐ Practice ⭐⭐⭐ Advanced Topics ⭐⭐⭐
Assessments ⭐ Popular Technology ⭐

Node.js Complete Reference Guide

By Valentin Bojinov, David Herron, Diogo Resende, December 2018
📖732 Explanations ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Practice ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Assessments ⭐
Advanced Topics ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Popular Technology ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Learn React Hooks By Daniel Bugl

📖426 Explanations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Practice ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Assessments ⭐⭐⭐
Advanced Topics ⭐⭐⭐,⭐⭐ Popular Technology ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Read the full article on my medium page.

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