12 best react books [learn react asap for beginners and beyond]

12 Best React Books in 2022 [Learn React ASAP for Beginners and Beyond]

What is React?

React is an open-source front-end JavaScript library that was created by Facebook in 2013. It’s widely used for building user interfaces (UI) for single page applications. It also enables you to build reusable UI components.

React can be used to develop both web and mobile applications.

Because React is a JavaScript library, we recommend you know JavaScript before learning React (fortunately, we’ve got you covered). Knowing HTML and CSS will also be beneficial.

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

Who uses React?

10,000

companies using React

According to stackshare.io, almost 10,000 companies use React in their tech stacks including:

And many more.

TLDR: Best React Books

🔥 Best Overall 🔥
Learning React: Modern Patterns for Developing React Apps, 2nd Edition

💥 Best for Newbies 💥
The Road to React: Your Journey to Master Plain Yet Pragmatic React.js

💸 Best Value 💸
React Explained: Your Step-by-Step Guide to React

Best React Books

1. Learning React: Modern Patterns for Developing React Apps, 2nd Edition

Learning React is one of the best React books overall.

↘️ Ideal for: web developers and software engineers familiar with JavaScript, HTML and CSS
↘️
Topics covered: functional programming, data management, React Hooks

Learning React is geared towards web developers and software engineers tho understand how JavaScript, HTML and CSS work in the browser.

You’ll find a learning roadmap which details how to create user interfaces (UIs) that can display changes without page reloads. In addition, you’ll:

  • create application presentation layers with React components
  • manage data
  • reduce application debugging time
  • use React Hooks to manage state and fetch data

You’ll also learn how to work with functional programming.

➡️ Learning React shows you how to use modern patterns to build efficient React applications.

Here’s what React developers are saying about Learning React:

Excellent introduction to React. Clear, concise, plenty of examples, easy to follow…

ECT, React Developer


🏁 If you want to get up and running with React ASAP, check out the course Learn React Today by Web Dev Simplified.


2. The Road to React: Your Journey to Master Plain Yet Pragmatic React.js

The Road to React is one of the best React books for beginners.

↘️ Ideal for: React newbies, JavaScript developers
↘️
Topics covered: features, fundamentals, advanced topics

The Road to React by Robin Wieruch is geared towards complete React newbies. Throughout the book, you’ll build a React application while learning all about React basics. You’ll also work on a series of exercises at the end of each chapter.

In addition to using Hooks, you’ll explore advanced topics such as:

  • React with TypeScript
  • testing
  • performance optimization

And more.

By the end of the book, you’ll deploy a React application to Firebase.

➡️ The Road to React teaches you the fundamentals of React while you build a complete React application.

🔥 Geena’s Hot Take

The Road to React is my personal fave because of author Robin Wieruch. He’s got a knack for explaining React concepts to beginners.

And he’s always updating his material.

AND he’s got a React course on Educative.io.

I mean, the guy can’t get enough!

He’s a React enthusiast, and one that I trust with my education.

Here’s what React developers are saying about The Road to React:

This book takes you from the beginning levels to more advanced topics. It is written like a tutorial or a course…

Jeff Woodcock, React Developer


🏁 Get Robin Wieruch’s fully immersive, interactive course The Road to React: The One with Hooks by Educative.io.

3. React Explained: Your Step-by-Step Guide to React

React Explained is one of the best bang-for-your-buck React books.

↘️ Ideal for: React newbies, JavaScript developers
↘️
Topics covered: fundamentals, building applications

Like The Road to React, React Explained is another React book for absolute beginners. In addition to learning how React works, you’ll discover how to build applications with it.

Packed with over 30 exercises, you’ll learn about:

  • React elements and components
  • props and state
  • the component lifecycle
  • React Hooks

And much more.

Finally, you’ll work on an 11-step project where you’ll:

  • add things like content forms and flash messages
  • update and delete content
  • CRUD and live syncing with Firebase
  • deploy the project
  • refactor your code

➡️ While the majority of React Explained focuses on front-end React development, many skills also apply to back-end and native application uses.


🏁 Want to learn React through videos? Check out the course The Complete React Developer by Andrei Neagoie’s ZeroToMastery.io. (Use promo code FRIENDS10 for 10% off!)

4. Fullstack React: The Complete Guide to ReactJS and Friends

↘️ Ideal for: React newbies, JavaScript developers
↘️
Topics covered: React basics, React Native, GraphQL

With Fullstack React, you’ll find both simple and complex examples you can use to build well-tested and optimized apps using React. It touts itself as the complete guide to React and companion technologies such as:

Right off the bat you’ll build a React web application: Product Hunt. Then you’ll get into:

And more.

➡️ Fullstack React shows you the best tools and best practices for building React applications.

Code and diagram in Fullstack React

🏁 Robin Wieruch is back at it again with this ultimate beginner course JavaScript Fundamentals Before Learning React on Educative.io.

5. React Cookbook: Recipes for Mastering the React Framework

↘️ Ideal for: JavaScript developers with some React experience
↘️
Topics covered: progressive web applications, REST, accessibility

The React Cookbook is a bit different than other React books on our list. Rather than learning the fundamentals, you’ll work on a series of intermediate examples and solutions for common React problems.

Some of what you’ll work on includes:

  • building a single page application
  • creating progressive web applications (PWAs)
  • integrating React with back-end services such as REST and GraphQL
  • accessibility testing
  • tackling bugs head on

And much more.

We recommend React Cookbook for experienced React developers.

➡️ React Cookbook contains over 85 React problems with detailed solutions.


🏁 If you’re a full-stack developer, check out the Full-Stack Web Development with React Specialization on Coursera.

6. Full-Stack React Projects

↘️ Ideal for: experienced React developers
↘️
Topics covered: MERN stack

Full-Stack React Projects is for experienced React developers who want to learn the MERN stack which is:

First you’ll learn how to create a developer environment for MERN. Then you’ll build your full-stack developer skills by working on 6 projects including:

  • web-based games with virtual reality features
  • online marketplaces with real-time bidding
  • media streaming
  • social media apps

And beyond.

By the end of this book, you should be able to build production-ready full-stack MERN applications.

➡️ With Full-Stack React Projects you’ll build web apps using MongoDB, Express, React and Node.

Here’s what React developers are saying about Full-Stack React Projects:

Great book. Explained with reader friendly code snippets and eye catching screenshots.

Tarif, Full-Stack Developer


7. React Projects: Build 12 Real-World Applications from Scratch using React, React Native, and React 360

↘️ Ideal for: developers with a basic understanding of React
↘️
Topics covered: React Hooks, components, full-stack development

React Projects is similar to Full-Stack Projects in that you’ll learn full-stack concepts in both books. But with React Projects you’ll work on front-end projects as well.

It’s a guide to learning React development using patterns. You’ll pair React with powerful web tools such as GraphQL, React 360 and Expo.

You’ll start building projects right away with this hands-on book while learning:

  • how React Hooks modernize state management
  • progressive web applications
  • full-stack development
  • server-side rendering

In addition, you’ll tackle cross-platform gaming while designing animations.

➡️ With React Projects, you’ll learn how to build 12 real-world applications for the web, mobile and virtual reality devices.


8. The React Workshop

↘️ Ideal for: React newbies, JavaScript, HTML & CSS developers
↘️
Topics covered: creating projects, solving real-world problems, data movement

The React Workshop is another project-rich book similar to React Projects. But while React Projects requires some React experience, The React Workshop is for absolute React beginners.

With tons of hands-on exercises, you’ll explore three key components of this book:

  • creating live projects in the React environment
  • solving real-world problems associated with building web applications
  • understanding how data moves through React components

You’ll do all of this and more while learning about JSX, the DOM and the React lifecycle.

➡️ By the end of The React Workshop, you should be able to use React to set up and create web applications.


9. React and React Native

↘️ Ideal for: JavaScript developers, React newbies
↘️
Topics covered: React, React Native

In React and React Native, you’ll learn about interlocking technologies used to build cross-platform applications:

  • React
  • React Native
  • Apollo
  • GraphQL

You’ll take a deep dive into React architecture, component properties and more. Then you’ll:

  • work with Hooks, Suspense and NativeBase
  • implement code splitting in React
  • build user interfaces for mobile and desktop
  • write shared components for Android and iOS

And much, much more.

➡️ By the end of React and React Native, you should be able to build apps for the web along with React Native apps for mobile platforms.


10. React 17 Design Patterns and Best Practices

↘️ Ideal for: intermediate React developers
↘️
Topics covered: design patterns, Hooks, reusable code

React 17 is one of the few intermediate React books in our list. This one is not for beginners!

With React 17, you’ll discover design patterns and best practices to build scalable, maintainable web apps. You’ll also find plenty of examples that can be used to create reusable code.

You’ll also explore:

  • creating components using React Hooks
  • using Suspense and GraphQL
  • using server-side rendering to make applications load faster

Then you’ll write tests to create robust, maintainable code.

➡️ By the end of React 17, you should be able to build and deploy real-world React web applications.


11. Learning React: A Hands-On Guide to Building Web Applications Using React and Redux

↘️ Ideal for: JavaScript developers, React newbies
↘️
Topics covered: React, Redux

Learning React is another hands-on guide to building web applications… this time with React and Redux. With step-by-step examples and hands-on exercises, you’ll:

  • build your first React app
  • build complex UIs
  • look at component lifecycle
  • optimize your React workflow
  • use Redux to manage your app data

And beyond.

➡️ With Learning React, you’ll get your first React application up and running within minutes.


12. Beginning React

↘️ Ideal for: developers with OOP experience, JavaScript, HTML and CSS experience, React newbies
↘️
Topics covered: components, CRUD, Redux

Beginning React is yet another hands-on guide to learning React. And while no React experience is required, you should be familiar with JavaScript, HTML, CSS and object-oriented programming.

You’ll start by learning about components. Then you’ll dive into:

  • bindings, props, state and events
  • conditional rendering
  • CRUD with Firebase
  • React Hooks

You’ll also learn how React and Redux work together.

➡️ By the end of Beginning React, you should be able to build and deploy your own real-world applications.


Best React Books: Conclusion

Today we looked at the best React books including:

🔥 Best Overall 🔥
Learning React: Modern Patterns for Developing React Apps, 2nd Edition

💥 Best for Newbies 💥
The Road to React: Your Journey to Master Plain Yet Pragmatic React.js

💸 Best Value 💸
React Explained: Your Step-by-Step Guide to React

So whether you’re a complete newbie or are on a tight budget, we think these are the best React books around.


React developers are also reading:


  1. What are the best React books?

    We think some of the best React books include Learning React: Modern Patterns for Developing React Apps by Alex Banks and Eve Porcello. For React newbies, we liked The Road to React: Your Journey to Master Plain Yet Pragmatic React.js by Robin Wieruch. And if you're on a budget, we think React Explained: Your Step-by-Step Guide to React by Zac Gordon is the way to go. You can learn about these React books and more in today's post.

  2. What is React?

    React is an open-source front-end JavaScript library that was created by Facebook in 2013. It's widely used for building user interfaces (UI) for single page applications. It also enables you to build reusable UI components. React can be used to develop both web and mobile applications.

  3. What are the best React courses?

    Some of the best React courses include Learn React Today by Web Dev Simplified. We also enjoyed The Road to React: The One with Hooks by Robin Wieruch on Educative.io. Some other best React courses include: The Complete React Developer on Zero to Mastery, and the Full-Stack Web Development with React Specialization on Coursera.

  4. What is the best way to learn React?

    We think the best way to learn React is with books and courses. In today's post you'll find some of the best React books including Learning React: Modern Patterns for Developing React Apps by Alex Banks and Eve Porcello. Some other books include The Road to React: Your Journey to Master Plain Yet Pragmatic React.js by Robin Wieruch and React Explained: Your Step-by-Step Guide to React by Zac Gordon. You can learn about all of these and more React books and courses in today's article.

  5. Is React a framework?

    No, React is not a framework. It's a JavaScript library. It's a front-end library used to build single page applications (SPAs). Because React is a JavaScript library, we recommend that you know JavaScript before learning React. Knowing HTML and CSS will also be beneficial. If you already know JavaScript but want to learn React, we have some of the best React books and courses listed in today's post.

  6. Who uses React?

    About 10,000 (and counting) major companies use React in their stacks. This includes Amazon, Uber, Netflix, Shopify, Instagram, Twitter, and Airbnb. If you want to learn React, books are a good place to start. You should probably know JavaScript first. If you're looking for beginner or intermediate React books, you can find them in today's post.