From the world's most popular resource for web designers and developer's comes the ultimate guide to jQuery
Begins with an exploration of fundamental jQuery concepts such as Document Object Model (DOM) scripting Explores writing "Don't Repeat Yoursefl" (DRY) to gain a comprehensive understanding of these imperative modern techniques and best practices Shows how jQuery enables the user to adhere to these modern best practices with ease The succeeding chapters discuss a specific part of jQuery development such as manipulating the DOM, working with Ajax, and adding slick animation effects through tutorial style learning approach that utilizes working examples to explore the concept The books caps off by discussing popular ways of extending the core jQuery library with pugins and building web interfaces using jQuery UI
Where the text begins to break down, however, is in the detailed examples of complex jQuery usage, in the second half. Though he tries, Mr Rutter is not very articulate at explaining why you are inserting code segments during the making of a function, leaving the student to piece together the logic on their own, afterward. He is to be commended for including full blocks of code on the page, properly indented and fairly easy to read. However, he tends to show the same code blocks over and over again from step to step, with nothing to highlight what changes have been made. Once you cross past a certain level of complexity, this becomes rather maddening, and leads to introducing errors in your code, if you are following along. Typos will also appear and disappear from step to step, only a fraction of which appear in the book's errata sheet, leading to yet more confusion.
Thankfully, all of the examples presented in the book are available for download on the publisher's official Web site, which should probably be your first stop, given the issues with the tutorials. Even with what I've mentioned, however, I do appreciate the simple layout of this full-color book, with no crazy graphics and icons attempting to give you "super tips," and text that gets straight to the point. Mr Rutter is not the most elegant of instructors, but he most certainly does get you started in jQuery. Do look elsewhere for a definitive reference, though...
--Smashing jQuery teaches the jQuery version 1.4.2 API. You would do well to familiarize yourself with the jQuery methods which have been deprecated since its publication, on the official jQuery Web site, as Smashing jQuery does teach several of them. Don't pick up bad habits.