The Little JavaScript Book: All You Need to Know About JavaScript (in less than 200 pages)

The Little JavaScript Book is the trait d’union between JavaScript for dummies and You Don’t Know JS.

The Little JavaScript Book: All You Need to Know About JavaScript (in less than 200 pages)

What is the Little JavaScript Book?

Imagine a little book, an handy reference about the “hard parts” of JavaScript. Imagine also that the book is written for beginners, in a language that’s easy and clear to understand. Done?

Lucky you because that book exists! The Little JavaScript Book is a reference for both beginners and more experienced developers about the hard parts of JavaScript. I’m working on it right now and you can read it on GitHub for free: The Little JavaScript Book.

Why another JavaScript book?

“Come on Valentino why another book on JavaScript”? There are way too many books out there, with the quintessential You Don’t Know JS on top of everything. Then there is Eloquent JavaScript, one of the best books and one of my favourite. But in all honesty, as much as I love You Don’t Know JS and Eloquent JavaScript I feel there is the need for a more concise, easy to follow JavaScript book.

Newcomers often complain that Eloquent JavaScript is way too harder for a beginner (especially the exercises). On the other hand You Don’t Know JS is a fantastic, in depth look at JavaScript inner workings but newbies might not be interested in creeping into the JavaScript spec straight away.

Here’s where The Little JavaScript Book comes in: think of it as the trait d’union between JavaScript for dummies style of book and more advanced technical texts. You won’t be disappointed because the italian version “Il Piccolo Libro di JavaScript” had fantastic reviews here in Italy.

Who the book is for?

The “Little JavaScript Book” was born as a reference for my students who sometimes find other books way too harder.

While writing the book I had in mind web developers who always worked with jQuery or JavaScript without digging deeper into the language. I highly suggest reading the book even if you’re an experienced JavaScript programmer or you’re coming from another language. You may be surprised how much JavaScript you forgot along the way.

The book is not a complete guide to ES6, the 2015 JavaScript release. I assume the reader has familiarity with ES6 but I’ll introduce it a bit in chapter 2. No worries though, I will explain ES6 syntax as we encounter it during the chapters.

What’s in the book?

The book is organized in three parts. The first part covers the inner working of JavaScript engines and the “hard parts” of the language: closures, the prototype system, this keyword, new keyword and more. Every chapter ends with exercises, useful for making the concepts stick.

The second part of the book has a lot of practical exercises with the DOM and covers code organization and best practices. The third and last part contains solutions for the exercises and future additions to the book.

Here’s what you can expect:

  • chapter 1. A brief review of JavaScript, what it is and what is used for.
  • chapter 2. A re-introduction to JavaScript fundamentals: functions, variables, objects and so on.
  • chapter 3. How do JavaScript engine works? You’ll learn how JavaScript works under the hood.
  • chapter 4. Closures and modules in JavaScript and its practical application.
  • chapter 5. A deep dive into JavaScript objects through the prototype system.
  • chapter 6. Another deep dive into one of the most interesting concepts in JavaScript: the this keyword.
  • chapter 7. Types, conversion, and comparison in JavaScript, also called “Type coercion”.
  • chapter 8. This chapter covers everything you need to know for working with JavaScript in the browser.
  • chapter 9. Refactoring and code organization: you’ll learn how to structure your JavaScript code with modules and classes.
  • chapter 10. This chapter covers everything you need to know for working with asynchronous JavaScript.
  • chapter 11. A brief review of HTML forms and how they work with JavaScript.

Where to read the book?

The Little JavaScript Book is available for free on GitHub: The Little JavaScript Book. You can also download a free PDF of the book here: Download PDF. If you want to support the book you can also buy a copy on Leanpub. The book will stay forever free to read on GitHub.

Enjoy the reading!