graphy with connected points with text best graphql books, features, layout, comparisons

11 Best GraphQL Books for 2023 [Learn GraphQL ASAP]

Today we’re looking at the best GraphQL books for this year.

🧠 Did you know? According to RedHat, GraphQL was developed by Facebook in 2012. It wasn’t released to the public until 2015.

What is GraphQL?

GraphQL is an open source query language for application programming interfaces (APIs). It’s a runtime to fulfill queries with existing data.

GraphQL is an alternative to building RESTful APIs.

It’s neither a frontend or backend technology. Rather, it is a language spoken between the two.

What companies use GraphQL?

According to StackShare, over 1700 companies use GraphQL in their tech stacks including:

✅ StackShare

✅ Facebook

✅ Instagram

✅ Shopify

✅ Twitter

And many more.

This post contains affiliate links. We may receive compensation if you buy something. Read our disclosure for more details.

TLDR: Best GraphQL Books

🔥 Best Overall 🔥
The Road to GraphQL

💥 Best for Newbies 💥

GraphQL in Action

💸 Best Value 💸

Learning GraphQL

Best GraphQL Books:

Now let’s dive into some of the best GraphQL books of this year.

You’ll discover their:

  • features
  • core concepts
  • layout
  • comparisons

And more.

First we’ll look at books where GraphQL is the main subject.

Then we’ll dive into some others where GraphQL is one of the supporting technologies.

1. The Road to GraphQL

↘️ Ideal for: GraphQL newbies experienced in JavaScript, HTML and CSS
↘️
Topics covered: basics of GraphQL

This book was written by Robin Wieruch, author of The Road to React and The Road to Firebase.

Best Overall:

the road to graphql books cover with pink graphql logo
  • Learn the fundamentals of GraphQL
  • Become familiar with the GraphQL ecosystem
  • Get up and running with GraphQL

➡️ In our opinion, The Road to GraphQL is one of the best GraphQL books overall.

If you want to explore the fundamentals and ecosystem of GraphQL, this book is perhaps the best place to start.

While not an in depth guide, it will get you up and running with GraphQL essentials such as:

HTTP requests to perform GraphQL queries

✅ using dedicated GraphQL libraries

✅ implementing your own GraphQL library

And beyond.

Code sample in The Road to GraphQL

Along the way, you’ll build tons of applications using React and Node.

By the end of this book, you should be able to implement full-stack JavaScript applications.

🏁 Interactivity more your speed? Check out the course Up and Running with Node and GraphQL on Educative.io.

What GraphQL developers are saying about Road to GraphQL:

… The author’s writing makes complicated concepts easy to digest. The wording is also conversational and does make you feel as though you have a teacher guiding you along the way…

Will

2. GraphQL in Action

↘️ Ideal for: GraphQL newbies experienced in JavaScript, HTML and CSS
↘️
Topics covered: design principles, syntax, performance optimization

Like The Road to GraphQL, GraphQL in Action is geared towards GraphQL newbies.

But GraphQL in Action goes deeper into concepts.

Best for Beginners:

graphql in action with painting of peasant carrying a backsack full of wheat or bread
  • Learn design principles
  • Optimize performance
  • Build and optimize a data API service

➡️ GraphQL in Action is arguably one of the best GraphQL books for beginners.

Packed with examples, you’ll gain the tools you need to:

✅ get comfortable with GraphQL

✅ build and optimize a data API service

✅ use GraphQL in front-end applications

GraphQL is both a language and runtime as depicted in GraphQL in Action

🏁 Get deep into GraphQL with the video course The Complete React Developer on Zero to Mastery.

Along the way, you’ll learn how to build a complete GraphQL server while also incorporating GraphQL into your existing codebase.

Throughout the book, you’ll reveal everything you need to get started with GraphQL such as design principles, syntax and performance optimization.

What developers are saying about GraphQL in Action:

Great to see an author so clearly explain how GraphQL makes working with data much easier…

Peter Kellner

3. Learning GraphQL: Declarative Data Fetching for Modern Web Apps

↘️ Ideal for: GraphQL newbies experienced in JavaScript, HTML and CSS, front-end web developers, back-end engineers, project and product managers
↘️
Topics covered: graph theory, database querying methods

Learning GraphQL is similar to The Road to GraphQL and GraphQL in Action, but is a little easier on the wallet.

Best Value:

learning graphql books cover with drawing of bird of prey
  • Learn graph theory
  • Discover database querying methods
  • Connect GraphQL to your user interface

➡️ Learning GraphQL is possibly one of the best GraphQL books for developers on a budget.

In this learning path-style book, you’ll explore:

graph theory

✅ GraphQL types

✅ graph data structure

And more.

Star Wars connection query in Learning GraphQL

In addition, you’ll learn about Apollo Client, a framework used to connect GraphQL to your user interface.

Then comes the fun part.

You’ll get hands-on while building a schema for a photo-sharing app.

Finally, you’ll learn how to prepare GraphQL clients and APIs for production.


4. Full-Stack Web Development with GraphQL and React

↘️ Ideal for: web developers experienced with React and GraphQL
↘️
Topics covered: models, schemas, front-end components

Full-Stack Web Development with GraphQL and React is different than the other GraphQL books on our list.

That’s because this book isn’t for newbies.

➡️ We believe Full-Stack Web Development with GraphQL and React is one of the best GraphQL books for experienced GraphQL developers.

Throughout the book, you’ll build a full-stack Graphbook application from scratch using:

✅ Apollo

Express

✅ Node

✅ React

And GraphQL, of course.

Logical request flow in Full-Stack Web Development with GraphQL and React

You’ll start by setting up your developer environment.

Then you’ll discover ways to solve complex problems using GraphQL.

Later on, you’ll explore querying data and authenticating users.

Finally, you’ll learn how to deploy your app on Amazon Web Services (AWS) while ensuring continuous deployment with Docker.

By the end of this book, you should be able to build and deploy scalable full-stack apps using React and GraphQL.


5. Craft GraphQL APIs in Elixir with Absinthe

↘️ Ideal for: developers new to GraphQL
↘️
Topics covered: GraphQL APIs, Elixir, Absinthe

Craft GraphQL APIs in Elixir with Absinthe is different than any other book on our list.

That’s because it focuses on Absinthe, a GraphQL toolkit for Elixir.

➡️ We believe Craft GraphQL APIs in Elixir with Absinthe is one of the best GraphQL books for learning about the Absinthe toolkit.

The book is organized into three parts.

1️⃣ In the first part, you’ll learn about the core concepts behind GraphQL such as:

✅ queries

✅ mutations

✅ subscriptions

Then you’ll build a GraphQL API in Elixir.

GraphQL query document diagram in Craft GraphQL APIs in Elixir with Absinthe

🏁 This book is also an interactive course on Eduative.io.

2️⃣ Here you’ll find answers to some of the most common questions surrounding GraphQL in regards to security, maintainability and performance.

3️⃣ Now you’ll focus on using your GraphQL API.

You’ll learn how to support client-side GraphQL frameworks from within Elixir applications.

The book finishes off with an appendix you can use as a quick reference.


6. JavaScript Everywhere: Building Cross-Platform Applications with GraphQL, React, React Native, and Electron

↘️ Ideal for: new and experienced web developers
↘️
Topics covered: querying data, building cross-platform applications

JavaScript Everywhere is another book that’s unlike any other on our list of best GraphQL books.

That’s because it covers building cross-platform applications with:

✅ GraphQL

✅ React

React Native

Electron

➡️ JavaScript Everywhere is perhaps one of the best GraphQL books covering Electron.

Ideal for developers who want to build full-stack applications, you’ll learn how to build a CRUD-style app that will work on multiple platforms.

GraphQL playground in JavaScript Everywhere

In the process, you’ll explore:

✅ GraphQL’s data querying process

✅ building performant web applications

✅ shared authentication for APIs and web apps

✅ writing cross-platform apps that compile to native code

And beyond.


7. Full Stack Serverless: Modern Application Development with React, AWS, and GraphQL

↘️ Ideal for: front-end developers ready to go full stack
↘️
Topics covered: building serverless applications using GraphQL, React and AWS

Full Stack Serverless tears down the association of cloud computing with back-end development and DevOps.

➡️ Full Stack Serverless is possibly one of the best GraphQL books for building full stack applications.

With serverless technologies, front-end (and mobile) developers are able to build robust applications with features like:

✅ chatbots

✅ API gateways

✅ authorization

✅ authentication

✅ augmented reality scenes

And much more.

Amplify framework in Full Stack Serverless

This hands-on guide guides you through building full stack applications using GraphQL, React, AWS and AWS Amplify.

In addition to learning best practices, you’ll learn how to incorporate services into your client applications.

You’ll also discover deployment strategies, media management and continuous integration.


8. Full-Stack React, TypeScript, and Node: Build Cloud-Ready Web Applications Using React 17 with Hooks and GraphQL

↘️ Ideal for: front-end developers ready to build full stack applications
↘️
Topics covered: building full stack applications using GraphQL, React, TypeScript and Node

Like Full Stack Serverless, you’ll be building full stack applications.

But instead of using React and AWS, you’ll use React, TypeScript and Node alongside GraphQL.

➡️ Full-Stack React, TypeScript, and Node is possibly one of the best GraphQL books for building production-ready React applications.

With this hands-on book, you’ll start your journey by exploring TypeScript for building quality web applications.

Then you’ll dive into front-end development with React while using Redux and the Hooks API.

VSCode screen in Full-Stack React, TypeScript and Node

After that, you’ll take a trip to the back-end with Express.

Finally, you’ll get to use Apollo to build web services while learning to build GraphQL schemas and integrate them with React.

Once all the pieces of your full-stack puzzle are in place, you’ll use AWS to deploy your application to an NGINX server.

By the end of this book, you should be able to build high-performance web applications.


9. Building Vue.js Applications with GraphQL

↘️ Ideal for: intermediate Vue developers who want to learn full-stack
↘️
Topics covered: developing full-stack applications

Like Full-Stack React, TypeScript, and Node, you’ll learn how to build full stack applications.

But with this book, you’ll build these apps using Vue.

➡️ Building Vue.js Applications with GraphQL is perhaps one of the best GraphQL books for building full-stack applications with Vue.

Using a series of recipes, you’ll build a real-time chat application from scratch while:

✅ creating a GraphQL schema

✅ creating functional components in Vue

✅ setting up your AWS Amplify environment

✅ using Quasar to create simple yet effective interfaces

And more.

By the end of this book, you should be able to build your own full stack applications using Vue.


10. Mastering React Test-Driven Development: Build rock-solid, well-tested web apps with React, Redux and GraphQL

↘️ Ideal for: experienced JavaScript developers who want to implement TDD
↘️
Topics covered: test-driven development

Mastering React Test-Driven Development is the only book on our list that focuses on test-driven development (TDD).

➡️ In our opinion, Mastering React Test-Driven Development is one of the best GraphQL books for implementing TDD for React applications.

Using TDD, you’ll learn how to build complex, real-world applications.

In the process, you’ll test-drive libraries like React Router, Redux and Relay (GraphQL).

Sample code block in Mastering React Test-Driven Development

While building out your own test framework, you’ll practice systematic refactoring.

Then you’ll learn how to test-drive features like:

✅ front-end and back-end form validation

✅ data filtering and searching

✅ user workflow

✅ animation

And beyond.


11. Modern API Development with Spring and Spring Boot

↘️ Ideal for: Java beginners
↘️
Topics covered: Spring, Spring Boot, GraphQL

In this book, you’ll learn how to build scalable, maintainable APIs using:

✅ REST

gRPC

✅ GraphQL

✅ reactive paradigm

➡️ We think Modern API Development with Spring and Spring Boot is one of the best GraphQL books for designing, testing and securing production-ready, modern APIs.

You’ll learn about:

✅ RESTful API development and best practices

✅ applying Spring Security for authentication

✅ designing GraphQL-based APIs

And securing, testing, monitoring and deploying your APIs.

REST response status codes in Modern API Development with Spring and Spring Boot

Best GraphQL Books: Conclusion

Today we looked at the best GraphQL books including:

🔥 Best Overall 🔥
The Road to GraphQL

💥 Best for Newbies 💥

GraphQL in Action

💸 Best Value 💸

Learning GraphQL

So whether you’re just getting started with GraphQL or want to learn the deeper intricacies, we think these are the best GraphQL books for this year.


Readers of Best GraphQL Books are also reading:


  1. What is GraphQL?

    GraphQL is an open source query language for application programming interfaces (APIs). It’s a runtime to fulfill queries with existing data. GraphQL is an alternative to building RESTful APIs. It’s neither a frontend or backend technology. Rather, it is a language spoken between the two. Learn more about GraphQL with the books in today's post.

  2. What companies use GraphQL?

    According to StackShare, over 1700 companies use GraphQL in their tech stacks including StackShare, Facebook, Instagram, Shopify, Twitter and many more. Learn more about GraphQL in today's post where we're looking at the best GraphQL books for beginners and beyond.

  3. What are the best GraphQL books?

    In our opinion, there are three GraphQL books that are a cut above the rest. Overall, we think The Road to GraphQL is the way to go. For newbies, we like GraphQL in Action. And for best value, we like Learning GraphQL. Learn more about these and other GraphQL books in today's post.

  4. Is The Road to GraphQL worth it?

    Yes, we think The Road to GraphQL is worth it. Written by Robin Wieruch, you'll explore the fundamentals and ecosystem of GraphQL. While not an in depth guide, it will get you up and running with GraphQL essentials such as HTTP requests to perform GraphQL queries, using dedicated GraphQL libraries, implementing your own GraphQL library and beyond. Learn more about The Road to GraphQL in today's article.

  5. Is GraphQL in Action worth it?

    Yes, we think GraphQL in Action is worth it, especially for beginners. You’ll learn how to build a complete GraphQL server while also incorporating GraphQL into your existing codebase. Throughout the book, you’ll reveal everything you need to get started with GraphQL such as design principles, syntax and performance optimization. Learn more about GraphQL in Action in today's post.

  6. Is the book Learning GraphQL worth it?

    Yes, we believe Learning GraphQL is worth it. In this learning path-style book, you’ll explore graph theory, GraphQL types and more. In addition, you’ll learn about Apollo Client, a framework used to connect GraphQL to your user interface.
    Then comes the fun part. You’ll get hands-on while building a schema for a photo-sharing app. Finally, you’ll learn how to prepare GraphQL clients and APIs for production. Learn more about Learning GraphQL in today's article where we're looking at the best GraphQL books for this year.