I am afraid I qualify as "one who stopped reading halfway through" and not "one who loved it", but I will reply to your post nonetheless. I wasn't that impressed. As far as Newbery - I think that a lot of the book's charm is held in the drawings, which can't be considered, isn't that right?
I'm glad you replied, HA, even if it was to agree with me rather than to argue.
As for the illustrations, the criteria states, "The committee is to make its decision primarily on the text. Other aspects of a book are to be considered only if they distract from the text." So, the illustrations were a help in your case.
From what I understand, this book started as an Internet publishing project, which is pretty cool, although his blog page seemed to be down or deleted. I love Savage Chickens (http://www.savagechickens.com).
Maybe I just need to like a character more than I did this one. For a wimpy kid, he sure was a bully.
::)Most likely not Newbery worthy, but some parts made me laugh out loud. I can’t wait ‘til summer vacation, I want to try and convince my daughter that she slept through the summer and get her to eat cheerios at 2:00 in the morning. The kid really is not nice, and pretty self-centered, sounds like most adolescent males I know. I predict once word of this book gets around it won’t stay on the shelf.