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6 Best React Books for Users of All Expertise Levels

Since the COVID-19 pandemic reshaped how we work, at least 60 percent of Americans now work remotely compared to 23 percent who previously worked from home. There is a high demand for React with the surge in hybrid and remote jobs as many companies migrate to digital platforms. We have compiled the best React books that will sharpen your skills for the widely used React JS and give you an edge on the job market.

We reviewed over 20 products to find top 6 React books and selected React and React Native as our Editor’s Choice. We considered author competence and the publisher for credible information. We also picked React books that are easy to understand, including updated editions for different levels of proficiency to cater to more developers. Read on to find out more!

Top 6 React Books Review 2022

Name Nomination Overall rating
1. React and React Native: A complete hands-on guide to modern web and mobile development with React.js

Check out this React and React Native book with code examples of the modern technologies used to build web and mobile applications

Editor’s Choice 9.8
2. React 17 Design Patterns and Best Practices: Design, build, and deploy production-ready web applications using industry-standard practices

React 17 Design Patterns and Best Practices is a handy reference book with the best expert tips and resource links for intermediate and experienced developers

Best Expert Tips 9.7
3. The Road to React: Your journey to master plain yet pragmatic React.js

This is an upgradeable book that provides an ideal guide for developers that want to segue from JavaScript or HTML to React technology

Most Upgradeable React Book 9.5
4. React Explained: Your Step-by-Step Guide to React

We recommend this product as a budget-friendly resource with provided exercises and solutions for new developers in need of the best React.js books

Best Value 9.3
5. Beginning ReactJS Foundations Building User Interfaces with ReactJS: An Approachable Guide

This is the book for anyone who wants to learn the fundamentals of React, from development to deployment, in tutorials that are easy to understand

Best React Book for Beginners 9.2
6. Learning React: Modern Patterns for Developing React Apps

Grab this React book if you are an intermediate developer who wants to advance your skills to the next level

Best Intermediate React Book 8.7

Top 6 React Books Review 2022

1. React and React Native

Features:

  • Author: Adam Boduch, Roy Derks
  • Year: 2020
  • Publisher: Packt
  • Pages: 526

More features: paperback, 3’rd edition, 28 chapters

We nominated React and React Native as our Editor’s Choice because it is written by notable experts with several years of experience in building cross-platform applications with React as well as React Native. Both technologies are popular and although they may sound similar from their name and usage of JSX or JavaScript XML, there are key differences. React is a JavaScript library with reusable components that create the UIs for web applications accessed via a web browser whereas React Native uses JavaScript to create the UIs for native mobile applications for iOS and Android. The 526-page book includes examples that are easy to code, advanced UI design packages and guides on how to use the technologies to develop interesting applications.

The book features many coding examples that you can apply for multiple applications. However, a number of readers have complained that there is limited information on the tools they need to write the codes. We would, therefore, recommend this as the best React.js book for people who already know the basics of web development. The latest version of the book is the 4th edition that covers new concepts and the most recent features and fixes that are compatible with React 18 which was released this year to speed up user interaction through automatic batching and concurrent rendering.

What we liked

  • Theoretical and practical approaches for web and mobile development
  • Includes both React and React Native technologies
  • The book features a great design and visuals
  • Code examples that you can easily understand

What could be better

  • Minimal content on how to set up tools and development options to run codes
  • It can be confusing for beginners who are not already familiar with basic coding concepts

2. React 17 Design Patterns and Best Practices

Features:

  • Author: Carlos Santana Roldan
  • Year: 2021
  • Publisher: Packt
  • Pages: 394

More features: 3’rd edition, paperback, 15 chapters

We recommend this book to anyone who is already proficient in HTML, CSS and JavaScript and would like to upgrade their skills and master web application development with React. React 17 Design Patterns and Best Practices is an effective guide on React development that will teach you how to use function-based components for various projects and introduce you to library recommendations and new patterns. You will learn to implement GraphQL and the new React Suspense and React Hooks techniques as a developer. The resourceful React book covers new design patterns, best practices and valuable tips.

Compared to its predecessor that aligned with React 16, this book features additional content that include PostgreSQL, JSON Web Token (JWT) and Hooks. We found the writing style easy to read although some readers feel that the technical and overall editing could be better for one of the best books for learning React. For instance, it should include more information on modern UI frameworks such as Material UI that allows you to build a user interface using different components. It is also the most expensive and advanced React book on our list.

What we liked:

  • Ideal for developers who already understand the common programming languages
  • This version features expert tips, new patterns for real-world settings and plenty of information on the inner workings of the React framework
  • Includes examples to create extensible designs and reusable codes

What could be better:

  • This book may intimidate beginners who are just getting into React development
  • Key information on some amazing modern UI frameworks is missing

3. The Road to React

Features:

  • Author: Robin Wieruch
  • Year: 2022
  • Publisher: self-published
  • Pages: 286

More features: hardcover, 9 main chapters

The Road to React is our pick for the most upgradeable React book since it is self-published and can therefore be quickly updated with current information as needed. Budding developers will require little prerequisite knowledge; they will learn the fundamentals of React in concise chapters and code samples that will help them to create a complete application from the project guides. The book features modern web application development with React that provides features such as data fetching, sorting and pagination as well as TypeScript styling, integration, testing, and performance optimization. The author has also written books on Redux and GraphQL.

Both The Road to React and React 17 Design Patterns and Best Practices include detailed content on TypeScript and Hooks approaches in React development for readers who want to develop their skills with the latest concepts. The only difference is that we find the former simple enough for beginners to understand. The Road to React has a well-structured tutorial format with added exercises and clear code snippets in each section. The typesetting in the Kindle version of the book can make the hand-drawn diagrams appear tiny and the codes off-center but hardcover and paperback options are available.

What we liked:

  • Available in paperback, hardcover and Kindle versions for a broad range of options
  • Clear, concise sections with illustrations that you can understand quickly
  • Easy to upgrade and update regularly because it is self-published
  • Engaging writing style

What could be better:

  • Professional developers may find the lack of complex React capabilities and design patterns underwhelming
  • Diagrams and code samples in the Kindle book version may look small and off-center

4. React Explained

Features:

  • Author: Zac Gordon
  • Year: 2020
  • Publisher: OSTraining
  • Pages: 366

More features: 35 chapters, paperback

React Explained features step-by-step code guides while providing context and includes a project at the end that you can customize to suit your needs. Readers will learn how to build a database with Google Firebase and how to create a React router. The book does a great job of providing React background and basic knowledge and the right way to approach it to solve complex issues without starting from scratch. At the end, you will be able to not only develop the front-end but also the server side for both applications and virtual reality platforms.

React Explained is undoubtedly the most inexpensive product in our recommendations of the best books to learn React and it is worth every penny. We agree with other developers who say that you can easily find and apply the online source code and other bonus web content for your ideas. However, a few readers report that some of the downloadable exercises from GitHub did not work for them because of deprecated elements in files. The React book also requires editing to get rid of the typos.

What we liked:

  • Includes customizable project and other exercises you can apply for your projects
  • Great guide to learn React basics and concepts in a cohesive manner
  • Ideal for introducing React to developers with budgetary constraints

What could be better:

  • Firebase API key is yet to be updated to the latest version
  • The React book has some typos
  • Some exercises on GitHub do not work

5. Beginning ReactJS Foundations Building User Interfaces with ReactJS

Features:

  • Author: Chris Minnick
  • Year: 2022
  • Publisher: John Wiley and Sons
  • Pages: 512

More features: 20 chapters, paperback

Beginning ReactJS Foundations Building User Interfaces with ReactJS is available in paperback and Kindle formats. The book introduces beginners to creating the front-end with ReactJS which is a widely used programming language. It is suitable for newbies because it does not assume any prior knowledge or experience and will clarify the technical terms. We also recommend it to self-taught programmers and developers switching from other programming languages because it explains how and why things work. Experienced developers might also find it an accessible reference for refresher.

We consider Beginning ReactJS Foundations Building User Interfaces with ReactJS on the same level as React Explained because both books use a simple layout that makes it easy for budding developers to understand terminology, core concepts and codes that they would otherwise find complex. This book features well-indexed chapters as well as practical and relevant examples of class components and function components although some sections such as the one on React router are now outdated. We would also appreciate more content and examples for the React JS useMemo.

What we liked:

  • Commendable format with detailed chapters that break down every concept of modern React JS development
  • Great value for money for new and intermediate developers
  • Easy to understand and apply the examples provided

What could be better:

  • Some sections need to be updated to reflect the current version
  • Other topics might require more information and examples for greater understanding

6. Learning React

Features:

  • Author: Alex Banks, Eve Porcello
  • Year: 2020
  • Publisher: O’Reily
  • Pages: 310

More features: 2’nd edition, 12 chapters, paperback

We find Learning React the best book on React for intermediate developers who are already familiar with JavaScript, HTML and CSS and would like to study the best patterns and practices for modern development of React components on large-scale websites. You will learn functional programming and how to incorporate React Hooks, structure server applications with React and reduce debugging time for efficiency. Beginners might find this book complicated while experienced developers may find it redundant because majority of them already know this information.

The authors who are software engineers and trainers recommend having a basic understanding of the common programming languages before getting into the JavaScript library. The authors introduce the most recent JavaScript syntax earlier on in the 310-page React.js book and builds on it in the other chapters. React and React Native would be a better choice for the best React native book since it includes both technologies, unlike Learning React that mainly focuses on React only. Some of the examples in later chapters can be a bit confusing because they feel rushed and lack context or they are inconsistent.

What we liked:

  • The best book for intermediate developers to learn how to create React applications and to use React router and server rendering
  • Includes multiple examples and a link to GitHub repository for more resources
  • Unsuitable for beginners

What could be better:

  • Can be confusing due to syntax and spelling errors, inconsistent instructions and incomplete codes with missing context such as omission of properties in the examples provided
  • Explains simple concepts in a complex way

Buying Guide

We have reviewed our favorite books to learn React.js and they range from beginner to advanced ones to provide you with more options that will be suitable for your learning style, skill level and personal needs. These books feature tutorials, detailed explanations and numerous examples of codes that you can master and apply to your real-life projects. They also include references to online resources that supplement your studies. The following section will cover everything you need to know when choosing the best React native books.

What is JavaScript?

JavaScript, also known as JS, is a high-level coding language that you embed in HTML documents to alter the visual appearance and layout of websites and make them user-friendly and dynamic. You embed it in HTML documents and apply it on the server-side to build an interactive website that is responsive to input by users. For instance, it allows users to input their individual information and to navigate a website by pressing buttons.

As a high-level language, it is easier to learn JavaScript because it is similar to the language we speak as opposed to C language that is more similar to the hardware or machine code. Check out the best C# books with simple guides that will teach you the fundamentals and framework of this object-oriented programming language.

JavaScript is one of the main programming languages used by developers in the World Wide Web alongside CSS and HTML.

What is React?

React is a JavaScript library that is commonly used to create an interactive user interface and rendered content for the server-side. The free and open-source framework builds web application, manage data and events and render the display layer in an efficient way. That explains why it is the go-to option for large-scale companies such as Airbnb and Facebook.

It helps to have prior knowledge of CSS, JavaScript and HTML to understand React but you can still build your skills from scratch with our list of the best React JS books for beginners. They will help you to learn the core principles, understand the codes and tweak them to your preference as you advance.

How to Pick the Best React Books

Choosing the best books for learning React in a way you can easily understand may seem daunting. There are key pointers that can help you make the right choice once you know what to look for. Read on to find out how to get the most value for your money.

Level of proficiency

We have done our best to include books on React that cover developers of all skill sets since many books are designed with content that matches a specified level of proficiency. If you just got into programming, you would be better suited by Beginning ReactJS Foundations Building User Interfaces with ReactJS that explains JavaScript principles as well as the fundamental functions and attributes with simple sample codes for new developers. However, an expert developer who is already familiar with these concepts and front-end development would be bored by the book.

For the experienced developer, React 17 Design Patterns and Best Practices which details the best practices, tips and new design patterns would be more resourceful. An intermediate or experienced developer will understand complex computing concepts because they already have transferable knowledge or skills in CSS, HTML and other programming languages.

The best React native books are the ones based on your expertise.

Updated editions

If you look at our recommendations, you will see that the books come in various editions. Updated editions provide the latest CSS and JavaScript approaches for modern web development.

A self-published book such as The Road to React would be easier to implement updates compared to other books that might take time to upgrade to a new edition.

Author competence

You can choose a quality book by assessing your needs based on your expertise, career goals and the areas that need improvement. There are many React JS books that claim to be the best but one aspect that defines a quality book is a book that is written by an author with credentials. For instance, the best PHP books feature relevant content written by authoritative authors with years of experience in back-end web development using PHP and MySQL.

Majority of React.js authors also have other published works in similar or related content; Robin Wieruch, the self-published author of The Road to React, has also written books on GraphQL and Redux with plenty of positive online user reviews that build his credibility.

Easy to understand

You should be realistic about your experience level to select a React book that you will understand easily. Majority of the best books to learn React indicate the required expertise so that readers can choose accordingly. A book designed for new developers will typically break down complex terms and use simple examples of codes to introduce beginners to React framework.

Publisher

Self-published authors have greater creative control over the cover design, editing and marketing of the book and can customize it in all aspects. This is advantageous because they can revise and update the content whenever they wish. In traditional publishing, the authors receive monetary advance but they have no ownership rights and limited creative and marketing control that may delay updated versions.

It is also advisable to check out established publishers for more resources on developing modern web applications such as the best Facebook video downloaders with React.

Cover and pages

React JS books are available in different formats and also vary in their number of pages. They may come in a hardcover, paperback or Kindle versions. The number of pages matter because there is no point in buying a book that you will find too long to read to the end.

Extra features

You can find out whether the content of a book includes the core topics you need by checking out the table of contents. The best books on React are enjoyable to read because they feature step-by-step tutorial guides with tips and relevant exercises and solutions that you can use for practice. Some also provide links to other online resources to supplement your knowledge.

Other incentives include unlocking the course content or other versions of the book once you purchase the Kindle version of The Road to React.

FAQ

How long does it take to learn React?

It depends. Generally, it takes 6 to 12 months to start from scratch and become an intermediate developer. However, prior knowledge and experience will play a role in how long it will take you to start developing basic applications.

What do I need to install to learn React.Js?

You need to download and install the latest version of Node, which includes the Node package Manager (NPM), and then follow the installation instructions to create a project with React JS.

Our Verdict

React and React Native has an edge over other books because it covers two of the most popular technologies for developers. Readers will learn how to build mobile applications as well as web applications using the UI design packages and codes provided by two leading developers. There is an updated book that includes the latest changes in modern web development.

Intermediate and expert developers will benefit from React 17 Design Patterns and Best Practices which explains function-based components in a relaxed style and includes expert tips, reusable codes and new design patterns that you can apply in real life.

React Explained is one of the best React books for beginners because it is an economical option that provides great value by teaching you the basics of React and the context you can use it to solve complex issues, including to create a customizable project.

Editor’s links

https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Tracking-the-use-of-JavaScript-in-science-Number-of-articles-containing-the-word_fig1_319282578

https://cs.au.dk/~amoeller/papers/tajs/paper.pdf



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