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Murach’s jQuery, 2nd Edition
Author(s): Zak Ruvalcaba  and Anne Boehm
Published: 2015
ISBN-10: 189077491X
ISBN-13: 978-1890774912
596 pages

Publisher (more . . .):   Murach





 Five out of Five Stars
  Reviewed: January, 2016
  Reviewer: Chris Wallace
  Master the jQuery features that make JavaScript easier and better.

As I have said before, I have always been impressed by the quality of the books from Mike Murach's publishing company - this book, Murach’s jQuery by Zak Ruvalcaba and Anne Boehm, follows a familiar path. It is good to know that I can send professional peers as well as friends to such a well written text which uses common language and a useful format with that famous paired-page layout of all Murach books - yes, I know, I need to say that about each of the Murach books (because it's so good)!

The primary focus on this book is the core jQuery library; however, several other compatible topics are also explained well. This is important to acquire a comprehensive view of the growing fundamentals of using JavaScript, including JQuery UI, Ajax, and JSON, plus how to use some APIs. You will need all that and this provides a good introduction to useful code. As a bonus, and another good introduction, this book includes jQuery Mobile.

I suggest you download the complete code examples and work through the exercises to get a better total education. Within the review portion of each chapter, you will be presented a perspective. This is a helpful few lines written in a conversational-like manner to help you understand where you should be in the learning curve up to that point. Don't underestimate the importance of those few lines, something that is totally missing from most books (why is that?).

In the review portion of each chapter you will also see a list of terms used (quiz yourself to explain each one) and a list of summary points as well as the exercises to build upon. Excellent and complete code examples are provided throughout the book to help you learn JavaScript along with HTML and CSS. Here you will clearly learn the how and why things work the way they do in hands-on exercises. The free software tools you need to work these exercises are provided via download along with solutions for you to compare. The review questions at the end of each chapter help you point to the most important areas of knowledge covered.

As with all of Murach’s books (again, as I have written before), this one uses their paired-page format. Here a narrative on the left of each pair of pages is coupled with the corresponding code example for you to easily follow on the right. This should be trademarked by Murach. It works so well, that I wonder why other publishers don’t do it. Writing this way is more difficult than you might at first think. The writer needs to be judicious with their words and thoughts while crafting the topic being taught in bite size segments. At the same time the words need to be paired with the code on the right side. The reader gets this advantage without even thinking about or realizing it. This makes it easy to use each paired-page set as a reference later on for that material. For the printed book, larger than usual page size, paper quality, and type face makes it easy to read as you bounce from the written word to your execution of the exercises. An ebook is also available.

Don't be confused by the title of "2nd Edition." The first edition was a similar book titled JavaScript and jQuery. With this 2nd Edition, jQuery has been expanded into this separate book, with the JavaScript portion also expanded with a 2nd Edition title. If you are quite familiar with JavaScript, you can skip that book (there is some overlap) or read it first and then this jQuery book to fit the pieces together properly (particularly the sequence of learning jQuery is enhanced by knowing more JavaScript features). If you skip right to this jQuery book, there is an extensive well done section explaining the JavaScript fundamentals that you need to move onto jQuery in this book. Read the JavaScript book first for more complete knowledge of JavaScript. Beginners should start with the JavaScript book. If you are truly a beginner (or need a refresher), to round-out your professional library, you will also want to add the companion book, Murach's HTML5 and CSS3. I suggest this, since once you have picked up the format of learning with any one of these books, you will find it easy to speed through additional Murach books as well, since the structure and format makes it easy to focus on what you need in a familiar setting.

I have several books which include jQuery, usually included in a single book with other topics, but this separate devoted jQuery book lets you get a better understanding right from the beginning. The text, examples, descriptions, and even the layout all bring you, the learner, an ease of use that is missing in other books.

I highly recommend this book, particularly for beginners through intermediate learners - this is the place where Murach's books are really beneficial.
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