Review: JavaScript & jQuery: Interactive Front-End Web Development

JavaScript & jQuery: Interactive Front-End Web Development by Jon Duckett is from Wiley & Sons (2014). This book earns high praise from me as educationally sound. It reminds me a little of the Head First series of books, except this book isn’t silly. But it does use a number of interesting techniques to help you learn that are based in sound pedagogy.

Color Coding

There’s color coding for everything, which helps some people learn. Diagrams and infographics are on a dark background. Within the page itself, various elements are also color coded.

An example diagram page

Background pages and examples are on a light background.

An example page

An example page

Again, there is color coding within the page itself.

Reference pages are on a gray background with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript codes all shown in different colors. There are also separate color schemes for introductory pages and summary pages in each chapter.

Clear Language

The language is plain, very careful, easy to understand by anyone. Every single detail is explained in clear, simple sentences. It’s a masterpiece of clear writing. For example, here’s the initial description of jQuery:

jQuery is a JavaScript file that you include in your web pages. It lets you find elements using CSS-style selectors and then do something with the elements using jQuery methods.

Scope

Beyond the pedagogy that went into presenting the material in the book in a way that makes it easy to grasp, there is also the scope of the book. It covers more concepts than I’ve seen in a book of this type. It covers all the JavaScript basics, the Document Object Model, jQuery, Ajax & JSON, APIs, error handling and debugging, filtering, form enhancement and more. The book is over 600 pages long.

The examples are real world with downloadable code. The code shown in the book is  annotated (and color coded) with every detail fully explained. The output for every code example is pictured next to it.

Programming books often make my eyes cross and close automatically, but this one kept my interest. I learned many new things about topics that I hadn’t really understood before. I’d recommend it for independent learning. The exercises and examples in the book would also work as a classroom text for a JavaScript class.

Summary: Detailed, careful, guide to JavaScript, jQuery and more.

A review by Virginia DeBolt of JavaScript & jQuery: Interactive Front-End Web Development (rating: 5 stars)

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for this review. Opinions are my own. Links to Amazon are affiliate links. Here is my review policy. You can buy the book from Wiley, as well as Amazon. The link to Wiley is not an affiliate link.

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