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A Quick Look at React Books


As an author I like to keep an eye on the market. You have to know who you are against after all! It’s not an understatement to say could that it’s about to get swarmed with books. In this post I’ll go through the ones I could find and provide you some intel on them. Perhaps you would like to get a couple of books to your collection!

Free Books

Even though there are a lot of freely available React resources there aren’t too many free books yet.

SurviveJS - Webpack and React

SurviveJS - Webpack and React is the most comprehensive freely available book I’m aware of. It will show you how to set up a webpack based development environment and then develop a simple Kanban based on it. More theoretical topics, such as linting, styling and library authoring are discussed as well. At the time of writing it has over 250 pages and more content is planned based on demand.

The book is open to external contributions and in fact a lot of people have contributed feedback and fixes. From author’s point of view this has been just awesome!

If you like the book and want to support the effort, buying a digital copy would most likely make the author’s day. Suggested price without VAT is $19.99. Pay based on value you perceive as Leanpub books allow.

There’s also a paper version available through Amazon.

React Webpack Cookbook

React Webpack Cookbook is a little guide I developed with Christian Alfoni. The eventual plan is to polish the content and host the improved version here with a similar support model.

Hacking with React

Hacking with React by Paul Hudson delves straight into React. At the time of writing it has 123 pages and it uses a no-nonsense approach. In some ways it’s the anti-thesis to SurviveJS, but there’s room for different kind of offerings. Even though the book is free to read online, the author offers it through Leanpub as well. The minimum price without VAT is $10.

React Native Animation Book

React Native Animation Book by Jason Brown explains how to deal with animation in React Native. You get all relevant bits in a single place. That’s it really.

Commercial Books

The commercial side of React books is about to go wild. Developing a React Edge was likely the first book on the market. Since then a few others have followed. The challenge for authors is that as React moves forward quite fast. Books will require constant maintenance effort to stay up to date.

Developing a React Edge: The JavaScript Library for User Interfaces

Developing a React Edge by Frankie Bagnardi, Jonathan Beebe, Richard Feldman, Tom Hallett, Simon Højberg and Karl Mikkelsen was published by Bleeding Edge Press at November 2014. At 234 pages it covers a wide range of React related issues starting from the very basics and including aspects such performance tuning, server side rendering and testing.

As I haven’t bought the book it is hard for me to evaluate how up to date it is. The book has both digital and paperback versions available. At Amazon the price is around $30 for both VAT included. At O’Reilly digital edition costs $22.99.


React+d3.js by Swizec Teller is a focused book at 63 pages. At Leanpub it’s minimum price is $9 while suggested on is at $19 VAT excluded. There are expanded packages available that provide more material such as screencast and example code. In the book you will build a small data visualization project based on the technologies.

If you want a quick read that’s straight to the point, this could be it. It’s nowhere broad as Developing a React Edge for instance but if you just want to visualize data, this might work.

React - Beginner’s Guide

React - Beginner’s Guide by Daniel Schmitz and Daniel Pedrinha Georgii is a small, focused book. Its minimum price is $5 VAT excluded.

Effective React

Effective React by Ian Chursky covers the basic tools you need to get started with React. Also ECMAScript 6 is covered. Published through Leanpub, it’s minimum price has been set to $16.99 (no VAT).

Descubre React

Descubre React by Javi Jiménez is a Spanish introduction to React. It has 83 pages and its minimum price is $12.49 VAT excluded.

If you want a Spanish introduction to React, here’s your only option at the moment.

Pengenalan ReactJS

Pengenalan ReactJS by Donny Stark is an Indonesian introduction to React. It will be published through Leanpub. At the time of writing it has 34 pages. No minimum price has been set yet.

Rails Meets React.js

Rails Meets React.js by Marcin Grzywaczewski and Robert Pankowecki explains how to get started with React in Ruby on Rails environment. The book is available through Arkency for $49 and has over 150 pages.

Based on table of contents the book shows you how to get started from scratch, how to set up an effective asset pipeline and of course how to integrate with Rails. The book covers also concepts such as testing, forms and i18n. Note that React portions have been written in CoffeeScript.

React by Example

React by Example by Arkency explains React through numerous examples. The book shows how to build a password strength meter, credit card input and Twitter posting box for instance. The book is available for $49 and has over 130 pages.

If you want to learn React through a series of specific examples this might be the way to go. Even though the book is in early access it has sold already over 200 copies.

Easy React

Easy React by W. Jason Gilmore is available through Leanpub. The book is currently in beta and the price starts from $14.99 without VAT. At the time of writing it has 83 pages.

Easy React is a project based book and focuses on an application known as VocabGiant, a language learning tool. The book discusses a wide range of topics ranging from setting up a development environment, developing the app (Flux included), developing a backend (REST + Express + MongoDB) and React Native. So by the looks of it this should be a great book for a full stack developer!

React Under the Hood

React Under the Hood by Freddy Rangel is available through Leanpub. The minimum price of the book is $9.99 without VAT. At the time of writing it has around 80 pages of content. As per title, the book delves into the technical foundations of React.

ReactJS Cookbook

ReactJS Cookbook by Johannes Stein is available through Packt exclusively at the moment. It is on preorder for $39.68 and is due November.

As many books discussed by now, ReactJS Cookbook shows you how React components work and goes into topics such as animation, isomorphism, ES6 and testing. It is expected to have 301 pages.

React.js Essentials

React.js Essentials by Artemij Fedosejev is available through Packt and Amazon. At Packt preorder price of the digital version is $23.80 while at Amazon Kindle version is available for $29.75. According to Packt site the book should been available in July but Amazon has expected date at January 2016.

The book is expected to have 194 pages. It covers basics of React and goes into architecture (Flux). There is also information about testing (Jest). No official table of contents is available as of yet.

Introduction to React

Introduction to React by Cory Gackenheimer is available through Apress and Amazon. At Apress digital edition is available for $17.99 while print costs $24.99. At Amazon paperback costs $19.68. The book is expected to be available at September.

The planned length of the book is 170 pages and it will cover basics of React, Flux architecture and testing at least. There is also specific discussion about JSX.

Pro React

Pro React by Cassio de Sousa Antonio is available through Apress and Amazon. At Apress digital edition is available for $27.99 while print costs $39.99. At Amazon the print costs the same. The book should be available at December.

The book has 280 pages and covers a wide range of React related topics.

React: Up & Running: Building Web Applications

React: Up & Running: Building Web Applications by Stoyan Stefanov is available through O’Reilly and Amazon. At O’Reilly digital early access version costs $33.99 while print goes for $39.99. At Amazon print is slightly cheaper at $37.99.

Early chapters of the book are already available and according to Amazon the full book should be completed by December. The book will have around 250 pages.

I probably don’t need to repeat myself here. Expect to learn basics of React and then some.

Master React

Master React by Ludovico Fischer doesn’t have a lot of information available yet. Digital version of the book is due Autumn and there is some early content at the site.

By the looks of the book will go through a wide range of React related concepts. These include development tools, third party libraries, JSX and server-side React as with so many other books.

Mastering React

Mastering React by The Pragmatic Programmers doesn’t have a lot of information available. So far we know that it will have 250 pages and is due 10th of January, 2016.

React Native Books

There’s also an emerging category of React Native books and the first book has already been released and more are on their way.

Beginning Mobile App Development with React Native

Beginning Mobile App Development with React Native by Manuel Kiessling is likely the first book on the market. It is available through Leanpub for $29.99 (no VAT) and has 82 pages guiding you into the topic.

Learning React Native

Learning React Native by Bonnie Eisenman is available through O’Reilly and Amazon. At O’Reilly digital early access version costs $33.99 while print goes for $39.99. At Amazon print is available for $32.59 and is expected to deliver at December. The book is around 200 pages long.

React Quickly

React Quickly by Azat Mardan, published by Manning Publications, delves through React related topics quickly as the title promises. The early access version costs $31.99. If you want the paperback as well, expect to pay $39.99.


A lot of the React books have significant overlap. Their length ranges from very short (63 pages) up to quite long (301 pages). There’s also wide variance in pricing as a result. The cheapest goes for $5 while the most expensive costs $49. There are both self-published options and books backed by a publisher. It is hard to comment on the quality of the books as I haven’t read these.

The situation is very interesting. It’s going to be difficult for a book to stand out content-wise. The biggest differentiating factor I can see is actually openness of the book. My book is a notable exception to the rule. It’s going to be interesting to see if it makes any difference compared to the competition and publisher backed options.

Let me know if I missed some awesome book at the comments and I’ll add it to the listing.