I think the book needs some editing and some corrections!
Here's another thread that might help:
subject: WordPress code error call to thematic_abovecontent()
Here are the portions that might help:
In the Advanced Theme Construction chapter the book says to copy the index.php file and rename it as home.php - the example in the book and the code in the download includes this function call in home.php <?php thematic_abovecontent(); ?> - this function call is not in index.php and there is no function thematic_abovecontent() in the functions.php file so the home page shows a PHP error. If I'm correct this line should be removed from home.php <?php thematic_abovecontent(); ?>.
I deleted lines 13 and 47 from home.php.
line 13: <?php thematic_abovecontent(); ?>
line 47: <?php thematic_belowcontent(); ?>
It then worked fine.
My previous problems with the files were
because I had gone to "Settings --> Reading , and checked "Front page displays" -- "a static page (select below):
Front page: about"
and not setting
"Posts page: "