Updating sub-attirbutes without selecting the parent

I am working on an application and need to be able to update a single field of nested record in the applications. For instance,

Library has_many Books Book has_many Chapters

I would like to be able to have a single form on the Library page that allows me to use a pull down list that selects the book and the chapter and have users be able to update that chapters' associated fields (mark the chapter as updated for instance). It doesn't need to be smart and pull the existing values for the chapter record. I would be happy to use form_tag and make it a dumb form to just dump the data into the database but I am not sure how to best approach it. I have tried using the nested form_for and fields_for methods but they appear to break after one "layer" of nesting. Lets assume all chapters have a key field that is unique across the whole chapters table; is there a way I could create a form that would ignore associations and just look for that key field and update that record - ignoring that the chapter is owned by a book and the book is owned by a library? Thanks,