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Best React.js Books and Learning Resources

Sep 1, 20217 min read

Dawid Karczewski

Senior full stack developer and CTO at Ideamotive.

best react js books and learning resources

React.js was rated to be the most popular web framework in 2021, with 41,1% of professional developers using it. It is an amazing JavaScript library for everyone who deals with front-end development. It allows you to create user interfaces and their elements faster and easier with reusable components and JSX (simpler JavaScript). One of the major reasons why the library is used by so many JavaScript developers is its capability to build pages where you change data without reloading the page. 


Since React is an open-source library, it grows annually with the help of contributions from Facebook and individual Jdevelopers. Consequently, it becomes even more loved among developers and more wanted by clients. If you have not started learning this web framework yet, you should definitely give it a try, considering its popularity and handy features. 


We are here to assist you in the learning process by providing the necessary resources. There are thousands of books, videos, and courses about ReactJS. Such a variety might be confusing since you may not know how to start learning React JS. We have prepared 13 best React JS books and 3 courses that were created for beginners specifically. The list is perfect for junior developers and those who want to brush up on basic concepts. 


Let’s get you started!

Best ReactJS Books

React: Up & Running: Building Web Applications

The first two books from this list are must-reads for React beginners. React: Up & Running: Building Web Applications by Stoyan Stefanov introduces you to the most basic building blocks and concepts. However, this is a solid foundation for further neat development of large web applications. You need a basic knowledge of JavaScript to read and understand the book. All other concepts will be explained with step-by-step guides and screenshots. 

After reading the book, you will be able to write your first “Hello World” app, create custom React components, build a data table component, and use JSX syntax. 


react up and running

ReactJS by Example - Building Modern Web Applications with React

It is a classic by Vipul A M and Prathamesh Sonpatki. The book is delivered as a conversation between two React developers, one of them becomes a mentor for the other. In such an easy manner, you will learn about JSX syntax, React’s reusable and dynamic components and data sharing between them, basics of Animation, React’s add-ons, etc. You have to know HTML, CSS, and JavaScript well to understand the book. 


While some readers really adore the conversational style of writing and find it easier to understand in such a way, some might get lost and fail to find tips in a packed text. We recommend reading a fragment of the book before buying so that you can better understand if it is the right format for you.


reactjs by example

React.js Essentials

React.js Essentials: A fast-paced guide to designing and building scalable and maintainable web apps with React.js was written by Fedosejev and is considered to be one of the best React JS books. The author is a self-taught developer so he does know what a beginner needs and how to make it as straightforward as possible. After reading, you will be able to install all the necessary React tools, create elements, stateless and stateful components, integrate with other JS libraries, and test your code. You need to be comfortable with JavaScript and HTML before reading. 


The strongest sides of the book are its writing style and the explanation of component’s life cycles. The author provides a step-by-step guide that is very straightforward and free of unnecessary stories and details. You can read the book really quickly. Also, it has become THE book for many React developers because they finally understood lifecycles. 


reactjs essentials

Getting Started with React

Doel Sengupta, Manu Singhal, Danillo Corvalan have written a book for everyone who wants to learn the basics and a little bit beyond. The text has an enormous practical meaning since you will learn how to refactor the React component with JSX, integrate a created React application with the Facebook login and Graph API, use ES6 syntax, FLUX, mixins, and validations helpers. You will also test and deploy the code after the reading. The more advanced concepts like React on the server-side and Redux will be also briefly explained. 


It is easy to understand and has practical advice about working with React. However, you might stumble upon some grammar errors. 


getting started with react

SurviveJS - Webpack and React: From apprentice to master

SurviveJS - Webpack and React: From apprentice to master was created by Juho Vepsäläinen and is a part of the big SurviveJS project. Front-end developers constantly give feedback on the book and the content is updated based on this and React’s updates. 


With this book, you can discover how to learn React in an efficient way and how to create real React applications, with WebPack, ES6, Flux, and other related tools. You can get additional tips on how to improve code quality and find bugs early in the process. 


The book is available online for free. However, if you want to support this big project, you can buy Amazon’s version with additional information about typing with React and testing the app. Do not forget that the book is often updated so keep an eye out!


survivejs webpack and react

Pro React

Pro React 16 by Freeman will take you on an exciting journey of building simple and more complex apps. You will gain more knowledge about what React is, what are its benefits over Vue and Angular, as well as why you need to know how to cooperate with Vue engineers and Angular developers. The book would also help with getting practical skills of design, dynamic web apps creation, and testing with React. It is interesting how the author explains supporting tools like REST, Redux, and GraphQL in great detail as well. 


We would say that this book is more advanced than previous ones and you should have some background knowledge before picking it up. However, it has everything that a serious developer has to know about React and is worth a read. 


pro react 16

Mastering React

Mastering React by Horton and Vice is a great tool for beginners. The authors explain the basic concepts very well: component life cycles, props, states, associated tools, design, prototyping. You will also learn more about advanced functionality like form validation, animation, etc. 


However, you should take this book with a pinch of salt. It is a rather old one and does not explain modern approaches like ES6. Even though it is good for understanding the basic concepts, the teaching style of it is very clear, you will have to use other resources as well to actually master React. 


mastering react

ReactJS Cookbook

In React Cookbook: Create dynamic web apps with React using Redux, Webpack, Node.js, and GraphQL, Roldan attempts to bring together all topics connected to ReactJS. All-in-all it covers 66 topics, including UI development, server-side React, animations, API creation with Node.js, Firebase, and GraphQL, component architecture, testing, debugging, and deployment. The book also offers the latest information about React, its development trends and tips on how to master React JS.


The book offers extensive expertise and high-quality code examples. However, it can be a bit overwhelming for a beginner. We recommend reading it after the basics or read-only part of the chapters. It is a great book if you want to go way beyond the basics though. The Cookbook is also a perfect solution for experienced developers who want to freshen up their knowledge. 


react cookbook

FullStack React: The Complete Guide to ReactJS and Friends

The aim of the book is to give you only up-to-date information with major tools rather than flooding you with new knowledge. It offers both explanations of easy concepts and details for more advanced usage. You can learn about components, relationships between them, architecture, communication with back-end servers, JSX, Virtual DOM, forms, WebPack, testing, routing, GraphQL, and Redux. 


The best trait of the book is that it explains every step very thoroughly and lets you learn at a slow but steady pace. You can try numerous coding exercises and enjoy the clear language used throughout the book. 


fullstack react complete guide

Learning React: Functional Web Development with React and Redux

The authors, Banks, and Porcello, have written a book that is perfect for beginners and introduces only well-filtered, well-written, and up-to-date information about React. They combine theory and practice very well while telling about mounting and composing React components, component trees, efficient debugging, app speed improvements, routing, and structuring. It also pays special attention to the latest ECMAScript features and ES6 to showcase the best modern practices in working with React. 


learning react

The Road to React: Your journey to master React.js in JavaScript

The Road to React: Your journey to master React.js in JavaScript by Wieruch builds an application with you and explains different features along the way. The author took an approach of learning as you go where you first see the problem and then get an answer, you pick up things while practicing. It starts with the easiest concepts that we have mentioned in previous books and then introduces you to advanced ones like React with TypeScript, performance improvements, testing, etc. 


While reading, you will find yourself wanting to code and not questioning your intelligence. The book offers a perfect balance between dumping things out and assuming you know a lot in advance. Another great trait of the book is that you will find links to other sources where you can learn about this particular feature in more detail. 


the road to react

React in Action

React in Action by Mark Tielens Thomas will introduce you to the basics of React, routing, server-side rendering, third-party library usage, and testing. It is really interesting how the author explores the internal operations of React. However, some readers find the book too theoretical. It also needs extensive prior knowledge of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. 


react in action

React Quickly: Painless web apps with React, JSX, Redux, and GraphQL

React Quickly: Painless web apps with React, JSX, Redux, and GraphQL by Mardan is for those who need to learn React ASAP. It provides filtered information, lots of detailed examples, and the best React tutorial to get you started faster. You will also complete a big project in the process of reading to combine theory and practice in the most effective way. Readers can learn about fundamentals, events, forms, Webpack, routing, optimization, testing, Redux, and GraphQL. 


The author has a very clean and understandable writing style which makes the book way easier to read. Every React feature also gets enough attention and you do not have to face numerous concepts packed in a single chapter. 


react quickly

Other ReactJS Learning Resources

These best React JS books are all good and helpful. However, you can peak your learning productivity with additional learning resources, such as courses and YouTube videos. The latter can help you start faster and make the reading way easier. We recommend taking a course and reading a book at the same time: you can understand basic concepts to later read more details about them in the books. 


Here are 3 courses to consider for learning ReactJS. 

Modern React with Redux on Udemy

Stephen Grider has created an extensive course that starts with the most beginner concepts and leads you all the way to intermediate-level React development. You can learn about JSX, state, props, reusable components for faster development, the internal process behind Redux, integrations, testing, other libraries, and deployment. More than 240,000 students have taken the course and rated it 4,7/5. You can see that students are very satisfied with easy-to-understand explanations and visualizations of abstract concepts. 

React - The Complete Guide (incl Hooks, React Router, Redux) on Udemy

It is the most popular course on React and rightfully so. Maximilian Schwarzmüller is known for his ability to deliver the most complex ideas so easily that everyone can understand without rewatching. 


This course introduces the same features of React as the previous course but it was updated in 2021 and delivers the most up-to-date information. You will also find in-depth Hooks and Next.js introduction. If you have not worked with JavaScript for a while or have a very basic understanding of its syntax, you can enjoy the module for JavaScript refresher. 

React: Getting Started on PluralSight

The course starts with the same basic concepts that we have mentioned before and continues with arrow functions, destructuring rest and spread operators, classes, async/await, APIs, and custom hooks. 


The course is also often updated to include all of React’s improvements and cool new practices. 


React is a helpful web framework, used in numerous projects. Luckily, the best React JS books and various educational resources can introduce the most basic concepts in no time or take you to a completely different level of programming with React. 


Have you learned enough and are looking for amazing projects for international startups to put your skills to use? Join the Ideamotive Talent Network, get matched with amazing projects, accelerate your career, and work on your terms.

Dawid Karczewski

Dawid is a full stack developer experienced in creating Ruby on Rails and React Native apps from naught to implementation. Technological superhero, delivering amazing solutions for our clients and helping them grow.

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