Why are alkali hydrides strong reducing agents?

My book says that alkali hydrides are strong reducing agents. It also says that this is especially true at high temperatures? Is there any particular reason behind it?

Just like I said in the answer to you broader question, it's all about elements and their individual preferences. Hydrides (of any metals, not necessarily alkaline) contain hydride ion $\ce{H-}$, which is basically a hydrogen having one extra electron (or, in other words, a hydrogen in oxidation state -1). Now, hydrogen's electronegativity is relatively low for a non-metal, and so is its electron affinity. It can be said that hydrogen takes that extra electron almost reluctantly, and is ready to give it away to any oxidizer, even a weak one. This makes the hydride ion (and any compound which it is a part of) a powerful reducing agent.