I was lucky and I had the chance to study MySQL (&PHP basics) on a 20 week full-time course, with a Tutor who had 15+years experience in web development. He really guided us if something was not clear. Unfortunately nowadays most people just start at home google the subject and start to pick it up. I do/did the same with couple of IT subject but the problem comes if you hurry to have something in your hand to work with and then you fly over things would be a MUST. This happened with Me once when I studied actionscript, I was happy enough working with the new skill but at the point when I was forced to create something new I realized googling takes way too long(if any result!) , so I took the second time reading the boring but useful chapters.
A good advice for beginners is to re-write all query you gonna be faced with in the books. If you type something enough times it also allows you later to think about the logic of your code not on the keywords.
Head First SQL
This book is great if You are new to SQL. It is really practice based, sometimes it’s a bit silly how they try to make the reader think by writing pages of broken query until finally they so the right way. They try also to show real world situation by guiding us trough problems what Greg is facing. The book is great show everything to manage a sql database, on beginner level.
MySQL 5.0 Certification Study Guide
This book gives all you may need as a developer and if you plan to do MySQL Developer exam it’s the way to get ready for it. The book is real technical written but it has loads of examples to give better understanding. Unfortunately this book is not for beginners, it’s logically edited/written so it starts from Client/server Concept, Connectors, Data Types etc. The first line of code you need to issue is around chapter 9, it’s not for learning the real basics.