Top 3 Free Vanilla Javascript books to get started

Kaung Myat Lwin
Sep 14, 2018 · 3 min read

I’ve been asked by some people how to get started with Javascript in regards of Frontend Development. They had one common way to get started, it’s called learning jQuery. I was amused by this answer, but as it is correct that jQuery is easy to get started up and running, one day you’ll hit with the reality that you can’t do anything without jQuery. You’ll see kids around the desk tinkering in React, Vue, Babel, ES6 and all the jargons that you don’t quite catch up. That’s when Vanilla Javascript (a.k.a Plain ol’ Javascript) comes in. It’s quite important to understand how to work without jQuery.

That’s why I’m sharing this 3 free books that I think is the best (and I’ve read them) to help started with Vanilla Javascript. I included my personal reviews about those books. Hope you enjoy reading them one by one.

1. Eloquent Javascript

This is the book I usually point out for straight up beginners to read, because of it’s simplicity and general audience target, every people with very basic programming language can grab on the explanations in this elegant book. This book provides simple cover about structuring Javascript applications, Javascript Data Flow, everything you need to know for at a first glance. Online version has a sandbox where you can test the code on the fly.

Personal Review: When I started out I read it chapter by chapter, absorbing everything I could, and do the exercises that they provide. Some of the exercises are hard, but it is rewarding once you connect the dots and finish them.

Read the book here.


Once you’re comfortable with Eloquent Javascript, it’s time to set out for unknown territories of Javascript syntax-wise. provides short, simple and great explanations about each of the syntaxes, how you can use them, tips and tricks. This book covers more technical detail about Javascript, so read each chapter carefully and do their exercises. Once you’ve finished the book you’ll have courage with Vanilla Javascript.

Personal Review: This is still my go-to book whenever I got puzzled by something in JS world, I highly recommend you to read it to go deeper. What I love about this book is you can contribute it on its Github page by opening Pull Requests for whatever the errors (typos, grammar, bugged codes).

Read the book here.

3. You don’t know JS series

This is probably the most in-depth technical book series on Javascript. This should be read when you want to go for the trenches, understand every little details happening in Javascript. The series come with 6 books, and all of them are free! Each book excellently explain the big topics of Javascript in detail. So if you’re willing to give it a shot, try it once you’re comfortable with the books I’ve said above. You don’t have to read all of them, read the parts that interest you or bug you out with questions.

Personal Review: I read these book series (still I haven’t finished to be honest), but it grew me insights and see things differently when I write Javascript. So I recommend you to read it if you’re willing to go for next level Javascript Shogun.

Read the books here.

That’s it folks! If you have recommendations, please leave replies down!

Kaung Myat Lwin

Written by

A programmer. A troubled soul.

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