As a beginning photographer I don't have enough knowledge to confidently recommend "the book for beginning photographers." But I do know enough to know how ignorant I have been of photography and I can recommend a book that has helped me understand some of the basics.
That book is Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson. Peterson says this about the book:
Fourteen years ago, when Understanding Exposure was first published, I made it my mission to dispel the myth that understanding exposure was hard.
It's my hope that, after reading this book and putting into practice the basic principles of exposure, you'll have a knowledge of exposure that will permanently alter your approach to every picture-taking situation. Your anxiety will be replaced by a level of confidence you thought you might never achieve.
I'll just say that he has admirably succeeded in this task. After reading the first few chapters you'll gain an understanding of photographic triangle - aperture, shutter speed and ISO - that will put you well on your way to taking much better pictures.
I can't say enough good things about this book. It has dramatically improved my own picture taking. Granted, my photos aren't professional quality (yet) and I still delete a bunch of pictures, but they are much better than they were. I recommend this highly to any beginning photographer.
Next time I'll talk about a helpful website on photography, but for now, if you have read any books on photography, what would you recommend for beginners?
As for the photo - that's my son in the white about to tackle the goalie (kidding!). The photo isn't all I want it to be but it's a big improvement for me. Most of my action shots in the past have been completely blurry due. But, using the tips from Understanding Exposure I was able to set the aperture and shutter speed to stop the action, which is important for sports photos.