I was recently given the opportunity to fly to Florida and hire people to clean up oil from the BP spill. Given that I had some long flights (I live in Salt Lake City, UT) I picked up a Nook from Barnes and Noble and had on my computer a copy of jQuery: Novice to Ninja. What better way to spend my flight time than reading a jQuery book! So I dug in.

I have been using jQuery both professionally and personally for about a year now but this book still brought a lot to the table.

Earle Castedine and Craig Sharkie have a great sense of humor, and obviously know their way around jQuery, CSS, HTML and the likes. The book uses some real world examples of creating image galleries and user interfaces. They break down the jQuery code to it's basic forms, and then explain why things work the way they do. They don't get too deep into Javascript except to note that jQuery is nothing more than a fancy framework on top of Javascript and uses Javascript for everything! I thought it particularly neat when they would show the "hard" way to do things, then the better way to do them, and then finally a plugin that made all the work you had just done seem useless, but it isn't useless because you now understand how the plugin works better than if you had just slapped it in place in the beginning.

The book is quite deep about animations, AJAX actions, DOM manipulation and the sort. Even if you know Javascript and you have been using jQuery there is something in here that will make you go "ah ha!".

To the folks over at SitePoint (an O'reilly company) good work!