Javascript Books for Absolute Beginners/Strugglers

Javascript is my kryptonite, and after reading through various forums here and elsewhere, it seems to trip up a lot of other people, too. I have tried numerous books that were recommended to beginners and was completely lost before finishing chapter one. A lot of them seem to assume that you already have SOME programming experience and should know why this does this and how to make certain things happen right off the bat.

I am looking for recommendations for books for absolute beginners and for people who struggle with Javascript, for those who want to understand how and why they should do something a certain way so they can figure out the problem themselves, without having to google everything every five seconds.

My personal recommendation to anyone else in the same boat: Right now, I’m working my way through Head First Javascript which is great (though I definitely recommend getting the print book rather than the ebook). It’s all in the layout. I love the notes scribbled next to the code explaining the vernacular and why they’re doing something a certain way, the Q&A sections are super helpful, and the challenges are not only fun, but walk you through writing code that you will actually use later on (though probably for more serious projects than comparing bubble solutions). If you’re struggling with the basics, check out their online pages (the have sample .pdf pages and an online version labelled Safari Books Online over on the right sidebar) and see if this book helps.

Any other suggestions for those starting from scratch? Or for those on the brink of giving up?


I’m not exactly a beginner in JS, but as I started to work on my JS Calculator project I felt that I’m lacking some fundamental JS knowledge. So right now I’m going through “You Don’t Know JS” and then I’m planning to read “Eloquent JavaScript”.

Also this channel helped me understand some tricky JS functions (reduce, map, filter)


Just joined HackerRank and bookmarked those resources. YDKJS seems to be exactly what I’m looking for. Definitely reading that next.

Thanks for the suggestions.

If you are struggling or an “absolute beginner”, Learn JavaScript & jQuery by Jon Duckett is amazing. I feel it does a really good job with how the material is presented and what material is chosen. It may not be as thorough as some other books but I think it presents the correct information at the correct time for a beginner.

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Thanks for the rec. Adding it to my shopping list.

I’m already more than halfway through YDKJS and it’s as good as advertised. Even though it’s a pretty short book, he goes over the must-know beginner topics in greater detail than other tutorials/courses I’ve taken.

I’m nothing if not a list maker. I’m currently working through some stuff over at Sitepoint Premium. It’s $99/year for everything. Some of the books mentioned above seem a little advanced (I’m a beginner like you).

I like Beginning Javascript, 5th Ed. 2015. Jeremy McPeak. Wrox.

I have a digital copy and plan to start it next, right after I finish Javascript: Novice to Ninja

Personally, after long experience struggling I’ve realized the fastest way for me is the slowest, in that I need to read two or three books at the same level, not digging in to any one book, but letting each book go over the same material, and finally I’m learning.


Sitepoint is currently offering 1 Free Year of Premium.

Here is the URL :

I just joined it a few days ago.

I highly recommend it as it is a good source of quality material and offers a lot of great video tutorials and free books (the kind that sell on amazon for $40).

The books that I looked up to when I was a JS baby were:

  • YDKJS (free on hithub)
  • Eloquent JS (also free), the first chapters are beginner friendly, the later are kinda harder to grasp
  • Speaking Javascript (this is more like a reference book but it’s very complete)
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Thanks for the suggestions. I now have a considerable JS library to work through, and I’m going through them the same way as @NotaPhysicist, poring over the same material in different books. I’m still struggling, more so on the algorithms than anything… so I’m adding some daily Code Wars to work on those, but the books are definitely helping solidify the basics, especially the ones with projects to go with the different topics covered.

I’ve found this one very interesting: