Back to School Rally 2013. The sixth Attend & Achieve Back to School Rally 2013 features workshops, lunch, vendors, and the chance to receive Tools for School, a giveaway distribution at the end of the program. Registration required. Online registration accepted. Priority given to those first to arrive day of event. Must be present to receive backpack and supplies. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 17. Oakland City Hall, 250 Frank H Ogawa Plaza, Oakland. 510-238-3141, oaklandnet.com.
Houston Jones Benefit for Zion. Houston Jones, a Bay Area quintet, weaves a world of musical virtuosity and storytelling as a benefit for Zion Lutheran Church in the outdoor garden. BBQ brats, soft drinks, beer and wine available at minimal cost. 2 p.m. Aug. 17. Zion Lutheran Church, 5201 Park Blvd., Piedmont. $25. 510-530-4213, zionlutheran.net.
Woodminster Amphitheater. Experience "A Chorus Line" outdoors under the stars at the historic theater. Best for older kids and teens. 8 p.m. Through Aug. 18. Woodminster Amphitheater, 3300 Joaquin Miller Road, Oakland. $27-$56. Discounts available. 510-531-9597, www.woodminster.com.
Author Gary Kamiya. Author Gary Kamiya discusses and signs "Cool Gray City of Love," a portrait of San Francisco that explores specific sites, from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Tenderloin, capturing the experience of walking through her sublime terrain, and tying that experience to a history as rollicking as the city herself. 3 p.m. Aug. 18. Diesel, A Bookstore, 5433 College Ave., Oakland. Free. 510-663-9965, www.dieselbookstore.com.
Radio Personality John "JT the Brick" Tournour. Sports radio personality, "JT the Brick," discusses and signs his new book, "The Handoff: A Memoir of Two Guys, Sports and Friendship." 7 p.m. Aug. 22. Diesel, A Bookstore, 5433 College Ave., Oakland. Free. 510-653-9965, www.dieselbookstore.com.
Author Renee Swindle. Local author Renee Swindle, discusses and signs her new novel, "Shake Down the Stars." 3 p.m. Aug. 25. Diesel, A Bookstore, 5433 College Ave., Oakland. Free. 510-653-9965, www.dieselbookstore.com.
Kensington Library Book Club. A discussion of Ivan Turgenev's "Fathers and Sons," one of the great 19th century Russian novels, about the liberation of Russia's serfs with a universal theme of the generational divide between fathers and sons. 7 p.m. Aug. 26. Kensington Public Library, 61 Arlington Ave., Kensington. Free. 510-524-3043, ccclib.org.